Last month’s topic was Starting a Church Safety Ministry. This month’s subject is the Church Safety Volunteer Academy, a course for training both new and present Safety Ministry members. This week, we focus on the process of becoming a member of the Safety Ministry, including the biblical basis, the call, the application, and the qualifications.
God uses people, and whom He calls, He equips. And often, those who are called call others to serve alongside them. Jethro told Moses to call “able men … who fear God” to help lead the nation, and to be judges. Many times in the Old Testament, ordinary people were called into service, even extraordinary service, by God’s servants.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist had disciples who followed and learned from him (John 1:35; Matthew 11:2). Then Jesus called several disciples (at least 70) to follow Him, designating twelve of them as Apostles. Then in Acts 6:1-6, the Apostles told the believers in Jerusalem to choose (and call) seven honest, Spirit-filled men to serve tables – these were the first deacons. The deacons were to take part of the load so the Apostles could focus on prayer and teaching – the church had at least over 8,000 members (probably over 12,000 by the time of this event).
As the church spread out across the Empire, with congregations in many places, there were two generally recognized offices in local churches: elders and deacons. Elders were the spiritual leaders in the churches, with spiritual oversight, preaching, and teaching. Deacons were to take on the legwork of the church, such as assisting widows and orphans, running errands, and seeing to it that everything was in place for services and other meetings. Members of a Safety Ministry fit into the category of deacons. Therefore, we could call them “Safety Deacons.”