Deacon: (n) an appointed or elected officer of a church
I can’t remember who told me this, so I apologize for not being able to attribute it to someone directly.
But in describing the chain of command, this individual told me that it is divided into three sections:
At the bottom is de-shit-cleaner.
Next up, de-shit-kicker.
And at the top is de-shit.
Perhaps a little over-simplistic, but in every organization, there seems to be someone who believes themselves to be in charge, another individual who determines themselves to be the enforcer of the rules, and then, a person or people who spend all their time cleaning up the messes and making the daily bread bake well.
This latter would be the deacon of a church.
A church is like any other corporation—in the sense that it has a mission which is often sullied by repetitive duties.
It may be fine to be the priest, delivering the sermons or the elder, telling everybody where to stand and where to go.
But someone has to unclog the women’s toilet at least twice a month.
Someone has to gather up all the bulletins left behind by parishioners, who swore they wanted to “take it with them.”
Someone has to check the hymn books for crayon marks from bored children.
Someone has to break up the rift between two sisters in Christ who have, for some reason or another, just discovered they can’t stand one another.
There is a deacon in every situation.
It is the person who knows that worshipping God does not make people godly.
They are still full of themselves, mistakes, carelessness and apathy—as they head out the door and wiggle and wobble back to their private retreats.