Do Training Materials Exist for Potential Deacons or Elders?

Comments (17)

At our elders meeting we were discussing the need to provide leadership training for our youth, new church members and some people who have been members for a longer period of time but haven't felt qualified or inspired to serve as an elder or deacon. 

It would be great if our denomination would have information as to how we could provide opportunities of training to prepare members for the task of elder or deacon. Are there training materials designed for this purpose? 

We are interested in developing a mandate that will help us focus on leadership training. Thanks! 

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  • Elders
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Community Builder

Diaconal Ministries Canada has many helpful resources for deacons. Check out their website at http://diaconalministries.com/.

I also recommend the following books for training deacons:

  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Online video lessons to accompany the book are available at https://www.chalmers.org/the-small-group-experience.
  • Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
  • Live Just.ly from the Micah Challenge. World Renew's version of this book is available from Faith Alive Resources.
Community Builder

There are several webinar recordings designed to help get deacons get off to a good start that are posted here on The Network. You'll also find a variety of recorded webinars suitable for new and/or experienced elders. Several of the recordings include slide handouts and/or additional helps for training purposes.

Community Builder

Good suggestions here!  I'd like to add The Deacons' Handbook, by Lori Wiersma and Connie Kuiper VanDyke, available from Faith Alive.

Volunteers In Service coaches and trains deacons. They facilitate a deacon orientation training annually in August and has had very positive feedback on that training. VIS also is taking a more active role in facilitating council retreats. VIS staff meets with deacons to actively listen to what deacons are facing in today's world and responds in helpful and supportive ways. VIS works with deacons from the CRC church as well as other denominations. On the VIS website are blog positing on topics requested by deacons. For more information check the VIS website at www.visgr.org or email Bernita Tuinenga at btuinenga@visgr.org  We welcome the opportunity to hear from you!

Try Diaconal Ministries in Burlington.

Community Builder

Other resources should include Tim Keller's Ministries of Mercy and Resources for Deacons, Randy Nabors' Merciful, Chris Sicks' Tangible, and my Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry Transforms Us All. The latter includes excerpts from a CRC out of print resource Servant Leaders.

Participant

ServiceLink's website has a section under the Engage menu with 'Helpful Information and Job Descriptions for Elders and Deacons'

Direct links to the webinars for new elders and deacons can also be found on the same page.

 

Community Builder

In addition to my book, Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry in the Local Church Transforms Us All, I have a video on The Role of the Deacon  which is broken up into small sections. Go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdVuoO90C3zc_Tn3ZUWCZSn50jgUPusVa

Community Builder

A lot of good resources and suggestions have already been shared here. The Network site for deacons itself contains a wealth of information, ideas and resources. Simply type in what you're looking for in the search box on the upper right corner of this page, check the "This Section" button and click the search magnifying glass icon. 

In addition to what has been mentioned thus far, I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the Holland Deacons' Conference (aka HDC) . . . the diaconal ministry of the churches and communities of Classis Holland. We too have a website (hdccrc.org) that provides resources and support for deacons including regular blog posts providing timely and relevant information and news that is diaconal in nature.as well as a page dedicated to Deacon Resources.

Finally, HDC is available to meet with local diaconates for consultation, planning assistance, training on a variety of diaconal topics such as Community Asset Mapping, Effective Benevolence Practices, Deacon Orientation, and more. 

 

Harvey,

Have you checked the resources at Faith Alive? 

Give them a call or order online - it's possible that they only take online orders. Also, you may call the classis Pastor for help with resources, or a church visitor - who is usually a pastor in your classis. 

http://www.faithaliveresources.org/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx?SearchTer...

Grace, Daniel 

Participant

The comments below suggest that there is a wealth of good training material available for deacons -- but it looks thin when it comes to elders.  Do people have any good resources to suggest for training elders?

 

Admin

Hi Virginia! Did you check out the recorded webinars for new and/or experienced elders? In addition, the general Elders section is a great starting point. If you are looking for a specific resource or advice, you can always post your question to the Network community. Thanks for sharing!

 

 

Participant

Thanks for the thought about the recorded webinars.  I've helped with orientation for elders for decades now... starting in years when I could not be an elder myself.  Now I'm looking for ideas to help a younger generation consider the role and and responsibilities... 

The materials we have seem to present the role of elder as a pastor sees that role, rather than as elders actually experience it.  I'm particularly interested in how good training for council members could help create an environment in which Pastor/Council tensions are resolved without major trauma.  We are in conversation with the Pastor/Church relations folks, too.

Community Builder

Hi Virginia--I'd recommend Lester Dekoster's Handbook for Elders

Shepherd Leaders by Tim Witmer is also good, as is Philip Keller's A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

Community Builder

Hi Virginia: 

The Office of Pastor Church Relations would have helpful resources (pastorchurch@crcna.org) or you could check out my book "The Elders Handbook" (available to order here through Faith Alive). 

Louis 

Participant

I've used "The Elders Handbook" in other years, but it felt like it best served the people who had already served as an elder for a year or more -- which in some years includes all the new elders, so that was good.  

Admin

Speaking of 'The Elders Handbook', starting today if you attend a CRC you can now read it - and hundreds of other Faith Alive titles - for free in the new CRC Digital Library.

Here's the direct link to the Elder's Handbook page: library.crcna.org/resource/elders-handbook

...and you can learn more about the Digital Library at this short link: crcna.org/Library

There's also a Deacon's Handbook, a Church Staff Handbook, and hundreds of other titles. Spread the word about this new library, made possible by Ministry Shares.

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