The leadership of a Baptist church includes pastors and deacons.
The term "deacon" means to minister or serve. Within each Baptist church is a group of deacons chosen for devout attributes who assist the pastor, preach to the congregation and reach out to the community.
Qualifications for Baptist deacons differ between churches. Some churches require that deacons be ordained and trained similar to pastors. Some churches permit only men to become deacons, while others allow men and women. The Bible passages Acts 6 and Timothy 3:8-13 address spiritual and moral qualifications for deacons, which include wisdom, faith, honesty and sincerity. The Bible also states that a deacon must manage a household well and drink alcohol sparingly.
Within the church organizational structure, Baptist deacons perform duties to support the pastor. While it is the pastor's job to pray for the needs of the church and oversee internal ministry, deacons make themselves available to members for prayer and guidance to alleviate the workload of the pastor.