Did you know there are over 100 unique roles filled by volunteers each month? In this series, Cindy Ziemba will go behind-the-scenes, sharing the stories of individuals serving to lead generations to live and love like Jesus!
“It’s not what you have imagined. It is not as much time as you think. And it is more rewarding than you would ever believe.”
In spite of some early hesitations, this is how Gary Becker sums up the role of being a deacon. Gary grew up in church, and after he and Stacey married, they were always involved “making ministry happen.” Stacey was a director of music at their church, and most of Gary’s involvement included the behind-the-scenes tasks that needed to be done.
Once Gary retired, he felt God saying, “Now you’re mine!” Gary and Stacey were attending Ward by that time, and he was ready to engage in ministry in a deeper way. That’s when he received a phone call asking him to consider the role of deacon.
Deacons at Ward Church are divided into two groups – the prayer team, who pray for over 600 prayer requests each month, and the urgent care team who visit hospitals, funeral homes, rehab centers, and call seniors. Gary learned that he loved the urgent care visits, and said most deacons do about one visit per month.
His philosophy as a deacon has been “I can help with that,” and he’s been grateful for the many opportunities to come alongside the hurting of our congregation. “You know how it is,” he said, “You show up thinking you’re going to give encouragement and help to someone, and you end up receiving SO MUCH MORE in return.”
Gary has faced some personal tragedies, and understands what it means to have someone say, “I can help with that.” He even walked a family dog for a good number of days so the owner could be with her ill husband at the hospital. Gary knows that during crisis, our faith can either be broken or strengthened, and he wants to be a faith-strengthener.
Gary has seen God at work in many ways during Ward deacon ministries. One such experience was during Ward’s annual “Spring Bounty” collection of goods for agencies such as Northville Civic Concern.
“We were ending the collection on a Sunday afternoon when a man came by and asked for a list of the items we needed. A few hours later, he returned, with a truck FULL of items to donate. It was amazing!”
Ward Deacons are elected by the congregation each year through the Nomination Committee. Deacons must be a member of Ward Church, and serve for (3) years. Interested in pursuing the role of deacon? Nominations will begin again the first of the year, so watch for information and an invitation to the congregation for your recommendations to fill the office of Deacon as well as for Elder and Nominating Committee.