Synod 2015 listened to the plea of the Diakonia Remixed Taskforce and approved a dramatic restructuring of the role of deacons for our life together as churches active in our communities (see page 263 of the Agenda for Synod 2013).
The recommendations intended to “encourage, empower, and educate churches and the broader assemblies of the CRC to structure their diaconal ministry in ways that;
- Allow for effective coordination of ministry efforts that transform the community and the church, as members minister in and with their community. This harnesses “God gifts” in the community for community benefit. The gifts of churches and their members, as well as the gifts lying dormant in the community, need to be stewardly administered. Church resources can be leveraged in amazing ways if they harness latent community gifts. Helping neighbors steward their resources is another pathway to heart change, significant living, opening conversations, and relationships that draw people to Jesus as Savior, Redeemer, and King.
- Select leadership based on gifts commensurate with the office and vision for ministry. Lead church members to exercise their gifts and so enhance their own faith walk as they minister with community, nation, and world.
- Establish terms of deacon tenure that provide for consistent ministry oversight, implementation, and coordination.
- Address the place and role of deacons at the broader assemblies.
Now in 2019 many churches are recognizing the rich potential of having deacons live fully into this leadership mandate. A lot of resources, many of which are on the The Network, exist to help Councils and Diaconates implement this leadership role.
See the May 2019 issue of For Deacons for a summary of these resources.