Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


R. Peter Mason


Pastor, Deacons, Power Struggles, Southern Baptist Church


Christianity | Religion


As the Body of Christ, each person within the church must know their role and responsibility, especially the leadership. The Bible teaches that there are pastors, elders, and bishops referring to one office who have been given the authority to shepherd, or lead as it were, the church. The Bible teaches that deacons are an integral part of the church. They are to be servants in the church and minister to the needs of the congregation. The purpose of this project lies in the misconceptions surrounding the roles and biblical responsibilities of both deacons and pastors. Many churches simply follow a pattern of tradition rather than God’s Word concerning pastors and deacons. That misconception often leads to power struggles between the pastor and deacons, resulting in church dissension and pastoral dismissal. This is an ever-growing problem among Southern Baptist churches, causing many churches to plateau and close their doors for good. This project examines the responsibilities of pastors and deacons through the lens of the Scripture. By looking at the responsibilities from a Scriptural standpoint, it is the goal to provide adequate teaching and biblical knowledge regarding pastors and deacons to stymie future power struggles in Southern Baptist churches. The research performed and the data gleaned will be used to hopefully build community and unity among the deacons, pastors, and the church body. This unity will strengthen the church and allow the church to follow its God-given mission and vision.

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