Sessions & Deacons

Leadership within our church

Session

The Session is the ruling body of the church. The session members are referred to as elders. The nominating Committee, after prayer and discussion, elect church members to become ruling elders. An elder should be of sound faith, should be a student of the Holy Scriptures, and should exhibit moral character. Session members are elected once a year and serve a three-year term. Session meets the third Tuesday of the month. All committees report to the session.

The EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church) exists to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus as a denomination of Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical, and Missional congregations.

To the glory of God, the EPC family aspires to embody and proclaim Jesus’ love as a global movement of congregations engaged together in God’s mission through transformation, multiplication, and effective biblical leadership.

In order to be a member of session, all elders must participate in training and:

  • Know the Essentials of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
  • Share their personal testimony
  • Have read the POA Elder Exam Handbook
  • Have read the Book of Order and have a familiarity with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Polity
  • Have read the Westminster Confession of Faith in a fashion as to be able to respond to Ordination Questions
  • Have some familiarity with the distinctive of Reformed Theology

The pastor of the church is the moderator of session, thus he/she works very closely with the elders and committees. During session meetings, each committee shares a report and often discussion ensues. Session members must vote on upcoming, planned events and financial expenditures. The session meetings are conducted using Robert’s Rules of Order.

Deacon

The role or office of deacon was developed in the early church primarily to minister to the physical needs of the members of the body of Christ. The initial appointment takes place in Acts 6:1-6. The disciples gathered knowing that the growing church had needs that they (the disciples) did not have time to meet, so they appointed others to fill needs, like caring for the widows. The early church elected seven men and the apostles “ordained” them. These men were to be “full of the Spirit and wisdom”. Two of the seven deacons appointed here in Acts were Philip the Evangelist and Stephen, who later became the first Christian martyr.

Paul expounds on the qualities of a deacon…

”Deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.”

“In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.” “A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 3:8-13 (NLT)

The term deacon comes from the Greek word diákonos meaning “servant” or “minister.” The word, which appears at least 29 times in the New Testament, designates an appointed member of the local church who assists by serving other members and meeting material needs.

The biblical requirements of deacons are like that of elders, but there is a clear distinction in office. Elders are spiritual leaders or shepherds of the church. They serve as pastors and teachers, and they also provide general oversight on financial, organizational, and spiritual matters. The practical ministry of deacons in the church is vital, freeing elders to focus on prayer, studying God’s Word, and pastoral care.

The deacons at Lebanon Presbyterian Church are always focused on many specific elements of pastoral care. They have sponsored such events as: collecting socks and shoes for the needy, paying bills for those who are struggling, making soup for church members, reaching out to shut-ins, delivering food to members, and much more. Our deacons are following the desires of our Lord as they meet the needs of many in our congregation and community.