The Deacons Fund is money set apart in the annual budget for the primary purpose of helping TRC church members and those connected to TRC. God cares about the entire person, body and soul. Jesus fed the hungry with physical and spiritual food. The purpose of the Deacons Fund is to meet physical needs that come to the deacon’s attention. Physical needs can arise for different reasons: job loss, unexpected medical situations, errant government policies, family tragedy, and more. The God who sits in heaven salts the earth through his church. The church extends God’s love by meeting physical needs. On one level, meeting a physical need might be a one-time thing, like paying rent for a single mother who has fallen on hard times. On another level, this reminds her of the eternal truth that God is not detached from everyday affairs. He is actively involved in his world through the Spirit and the church.
The deacons are the managers of these funds. They will determine who will receive disbursements, in what amount, and for what duration. Elder approval is not needed to spend this money, though elders may make recommendations and request an accounting of all disbursements. Individuals may make a special contribution to the Deacons Fund over and above their regular tithes.
Since the purpose of the Deacons Fund is to minister to people during a time of hardship, assistance may also include financial counseling, training in household budgeting, and/or other education that helps people avoid potential hardships in the future, if such hardships are deemed preventable.
If there is any money left at the end of the fiscal year, deacons can roll the money over to the next year, donate the money to a local mission (for example the Downtown Rescue Mission or the Women’s Resource Center), or a combination of both.
A partial list of examples of how the deacon fund can be used:
- The emergency expense for a family in need (utility bill, car maintenance, medical treatment, etc.)
- K-12 Christians school tuition assistance for a family in need
- Food, clothing, and other basic needs
- Legal fees arising from obedience to the Lord
A partial list of examples of how the deacon fund may not be used:
- Business investments
- Debt payment and/or late payments (in most circumstances)
- Gambling debts
- Legal fees arising from criminal or immoral behavior