On Saturday, September 9, 2023, I was invited to present The Three Tables to the Calvary Baptist and Little Red River Associations in a gathering at First Baptist Pangburn, AR. It was wonderful to fellowship with these dear pastors and deacons and to discuss The Three Tables.
At one point, a pastor explained that he only had three deacons and asked whether or not, on that basis, this model would not be suitable for them. I thought this was a good and sensible question. It arose, I believe, because I had mentioned that what the deacons at Central Baptist Church in North Little Rock, AR, do is divide themselves into three groups (one for each table) and rotate the tables every four months. In this way, each deacon serves at each table every year (though, in a sense, every deacon always serves at The Table of the Pastor).
I explained to the pastor that one need not adopt a particular organizational approach to the tables to adopt the more important reality of the model itself: that deacons serve, in some capacity, the Table of the Lord, the Table of the Poor, and the Table of the Pastor. I went on to explain that if I had three deacons I would simply revisit the model in each of our deacons’ meetings and ask this question: Are we seeking to have at least some presence of service at each of these tables? Are we serving the tables?
Which is simply to say this: the organizational approach one takes to The Three Tables is not as important as the tables themselves. There is flexibility in the model. How might your deacon body approach it?