Has your church has found any creative or practical ways to minister and show love to those who are homebound during the winter?
At our elders meeting we were discussing the need to provide leadership training for potential elders or deacons that haven't yet felt qualified or inspired to serve. Do materials exist?
It's Ministry Question Monday and today's featured question is: "How does your church transition new deacons into their role?"
I’ve heard people say: “I thought the church was supposed to help people”— meaning “You have to give me what I want.” What we must do is avoid developing a relationship of dependency.
Mercy practiced for inferior reasons can be damaging, short lived, or even cruel. Paul proposed that mercy be practiced with cheerfulness. Cheer cannot really be faked.
At my church, we developed a brochure listing the best public and private social services in our area. What social services have you (or your church) found helpful?
The apostle Paul commands that we use our gifts for the benefit of others and God’s honor and glory—because the gifts are HIS and on loan to us.
In order to show we care, we need to be available to others and we need to take time to listen to what is occurring in the lives of those we seek to serve.
We need to shift from viewing diaconal ministry primarily as something done “to” or “for” others to more of one which does ministry “with” our neighbors, communities, businesses, and churches.
John Calvin intentionally partnered love of God with love of neighbor. How do Deacons, as catalysts, share the blessing of serving with church members?
For those near Dallas/Fort Worth, the PCA Mercy Ministry conference is just a few weeks away. Come if you're excited about mercy & justice. I would love to see you there!
Just as deacons facilitate the financial offerings of God’s people, they must also collect data on the talents of God’s people. Which member is a hairdresser or a handyman? Can they help?
It is not the deacons’ task to be “lone rangers.” In Acts 6, “the Seven” (deacon prototypes) had to have wisdom and the Holy Spirit to manage their new ministry. They needed help, as do we...
The Chalmers Center is releasing Helping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence on Oct. 6. Learn how to effectively navigate the moment when someone asks the church for financial assistance.
Many deacons learn and make mistakes as they go. I certainly did when I was first a deacon in the mid-1970s. Many deacons don’t know what they are doing and don’t know where to turn for help.
Instead of functioning largely as "lone rangers", the approved changes invite deacons to equip and provide opportunities for members of the congregation to participate in diaconal work.
Church leaders (especially deacons) will find this information helpful in assisting congregation members who need home remodeling for better accessibility.
Synod 2015 voted to include deacons at future Synods, along with expanding the role of the Office of Deacon.
If you're a deacon, elder, or pastor in the CRC, I encourage you to read the full report of the Task Force to Study the Offices of Elder and Deacon. Additionally, I've shared other resources to dig deeper!
In the absence of deacons, the full voice of the church is not heard, nor is the full ministry of the church under discussion. We await the outcome of synod’s deliberations with interest.
Does acknowledging God’s grace in our individual, sinful lives change our posture of serving? Would we be able to serve with a prideful, self-righteous, arrogant attitude if we believe in God’s grace?
I am not sure I’ve ever heard a deacon speak up at classis. We will soon be able to test whether this is simply a failure of my own perception.
Here is an updated version of a job description for deacons in the CRC. Use it as a template and adapt it for the deacons from your congregation and to your setting.
In sincere love, Christ reaches out to the unfortunate and the helpless, the lonely and the hurting. We must practice that virtue with him.
If you’re in the Toronto area, join us on Saturday, March 28th, for the launch of a new workshop and online toolkit to help churches hear and respond to the biblical call to become neighbours to refugees.