When I first started as a deacon I had the benefit of receiving not one, but two different resource books. The first was the Servant Leaders guide because as a deacon team we were working through it. The second was a binder of material that had been compiled from various sources by one of our deacons. It outlined things like how deacons fit in the council structure, what our mandate was, local places we could refer people, our counting procedures, online resources and much more. Understandably, it had been a substantial undertaking, as it tried to include everything we could possibly need. I loved it. But I usually like to know the details. The year after me, someone received that binder, and felt incredibly overwhelmed. They saw it more as a “must know now”, rather than something that we could use and grow with.
The experience made me wonder about how we introduce new deacons to this role. Maybe we should ease them in by offering some sort of gradual training. But that is a big undertaking to plan as a small team, perhaps too big of an undertaking! So here’s my question for you… As a deacon, do you think it would be helpful to have a deacon training program?
The Office of Deacon Task Force is asking a similar question as one aspect of their mandate is to “recommend resources that encourage revitalization of the diaconate and its role in the community”. They are exploring the idea of compiling resources into a deacon training curriculum which would have different components (books, articles, webinars, mentors), it would address a wide variety of topics such as advocacy, community development and financial counseling and it could be completed over the course of about a year. As they begin to look at several different training curriculums, they are asking – is this something that deacons would value?
Well, since you are the experts I'm tossing the question out to you... what are your thoughts? Do we need a training curriculum? Is it something we’d use? Do you have a different suggestion for the Task Force? What resources would you like to see in a training program? Are there any you use now?