A couple of weeks ago I moved into a new place. The place has required a bit of elbow grease (or flat out hard labour) to get it into shape. It's been all-consuming, and at times overwhelming! Recently I was talking with a friend about some of the repairs and little chores I had been doing. He sympathized with my work, and then made a comment to the effect of "yeah, it does take a long time... first you do step 1, then step 2, then repeat step 1..."
I stopped him. Or he stopped when I made some sort of gasping noise.
I hadn't known about step 2. I hadn't done step 2 at all!
The phrase that came to mind is "how will they know unless they are told".
I wasn't told. I didn't know.
Now, I know in Romans 10 this language is used to remind us of the importance of sharing the gospel - and I don't discount that at all. But it also got me to thinking about how we serve the church and our communities as deacons.
Does your congregation or community know what the deacon team does - how they serve the church - what resources are available to them? Does your deacon team have a sense of their identity - their call - their role in the church?
It's easy to assume that everyone knows what a deacon does - but that's not the reality. Many of us are members of congregations where there are a number of "new comers" - whether that be people who are new to the faith, or people who are new to the denomination, or people who just haven't really thought about elders, deacons or pastors and the roles they have on council as a whole.
This fall I suggest you take some time to share the following with your congregation:
- Who the deacons are (actually put faces to names) - so people know who to come to when they need support.
- What the role/calling of the deacons is.
- How the deacons serve the church/community.
- The ways in which the deacon team can be contacted.
- What opportunities there are for people to serve alongside the deacons.
It is good to be known in your congregation - don't just hide and count the offerings! Make yourself accessible, have tough conversations (and easy ones too!), be gracious, be loving, be available and be open to how God may be using you this season. Trust that he is with you in every interaction - and he is faithful and good!