It’s said that during the persecution of the church by the Roman empire, the soldiers often would kill the deacons of the church first. They did this because the deacons were so powerful in bringing new members into the church through their compassionate witness.
This sets my imagination going! What was it like to be a deacon then?
What should it be like to be a deacon now? Any similarities? Any parallels?
Thank God we don’t live in a time or place where the official government position is to stamp out Christians. But still…. Is there something so distinctive, so compelling, so attractive, so effective, about deacons that an observer might say, THOSE are the people who are key to the Movement.
Imagine being famous for compassionate witness that powerfully attracts new followers! Imagine having to take life-threatening risks to do your job as a deacon! Imagine being picked up by the authorities for being a great deacon!
Budgets and offerings and meetings are so far from the REASON to be a deacon – these are the things that often slow us down and wear us out. But really, aren’t these just the nuts and bolts that hold the engine together? These are some of the things that ENABLE deacons.
What ignites deacons’ hearts? What energizes congregational life? Great stories of great compassion! Changed lives. Lives and communities transformed by compassionate witness.
Imagine a deacon whose only story to tell is how boring the meeting was.
But what if deacons’ meetings were spiritually nourishing? What if story time was a regular event during which deacons got to tell what they did and who got changed and what they learned? What if the deacons in your church were a team of people with high morale and great stories to tell… what if there were a waiting list of people who wanted to become deacons?
What would that take?
There are a few basic skills to learn; there are a few basic habits that will strengthen your life in Jesus; there are one or two others in your church just waiting for some encouragement to try some new things. And there is this Deacons’ Online Resource Network. Could the CRC experience a transformed deaconate? This year? I’m praying for that. Will you join me?