Increasingly, congregations and congregational leaders are recognizing that the work and responsibility for diaconal ministry (diakonia) belongs to the entire church . . . not just deacons. For example, the Diaconal Ministries Canada (DMC) website desribes deacons as "key catalysts who motivate congregational members to be involved in the care and community ministries of their church. This can best be reinforced when deacons model and advocate gift-based ministry." Additionally, last year's Diakonia Remixed report to Synod 2013 from the CRC Office of Deacon Task Force provided the following description: "... diakonia, as the work of service that restores shalom, is not confined to a particular office but belongs to the church as a whole. The calling of deacons is not to perform that service on behalf of the church, but rather to equip, empower, and enable the whole church to live out its own diaconal calling."
Given that diakonia is the calling of the whole church, how can or might deacons and/or congregational leaders equip congregations to live out their diaconal calling?
Let's help each other out with some constructive sharing and discussion, i.e., let's listen to, share with, and learn from each other. Consider responding to one or more of the following questions:
- How do or might we go about doing this work of involving and equipping the entire church for diakonia?
- Are your deacons or any deacons that you are aware of involving and equipping the church for diakonia or--in the words of the report--"the work of service that restores shalom?"
- How are or might deacons be prepared or equipped to carry out this work of equipping others for diakonia?
Finally, there is a well written devotional for deacons on DMC's website related to this topic. Interested? Click HERE
Now, let the sharing begin!