Tonight we have a Deacons’ Meeting. I look forward to them as they are opportunities for us to seek God’s will together andI enjoy the company of all of the Deacons. They sometimes go on a long time. They very occasionally get side-tracked into trivia. We always try to focus our minds on our church purpose:

To follow Jesus Christ and make him known.

If it doesn’t fit in with the purpose statement it is not a high priority. As the person who usually chairs the meeting it is my task to try to keep us focused while enabling everyone to speak and share their thoughts so we have as many opportunities as possible to hear God speak to us through one another.

We don’t often have a formal vote when making decisions. Usually we work on the basis that we can reach a consensus. On the few occasions when we have not been able to come to a view we have taken that to the Church and said, “We don’t know, what is God saying to all of us in this?” Those have been great occasions as we have sought together to discern God’s will.

Why am I telling you this? Partly because I am blessed and encouraged by these meetings and I wanted to let the world know that Deacons Meetings need not be dreaded. All of our Deacons are godly people who seek to use their intellect, experience, skills, gifts and discernment in listening to God. I know that helps!

I am also telling you partly because I have been reminded today of how important it is to listen to God and how easy it is to ignore him, even when he is shouting loudly at us, because we have already made up our minds what we are doing.

“Thy will be done” is a very significant part of the Lord’s Prayer!

In American churches they sometimes refer to Deacons as ‘The Church Board’

“There will be a meeting of the Board immediately after the service,” announced the pastor.

After the close of the service, the Church Board gathered at the back of the auditorium for the announced meeting. But there was a stranger in their midst — a visitor who had never attended their church before.

“My friend,” said the pastor, “Didn’t you understand that this is a meeting of the Board?”

“Yes,” said the visitor, “and after today’s sermon, I suppose I’m just about as bored as anyone else who came to this meeting.”

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