Managing The Leadership Role of Deacons

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The leadership role that deacons take an oath to fulfill is one that is central to the church being relevant not only to its members, but also to its larger community and context.

Following is an overview of the Deacon’s job description that flows out of the oath of office with a view to what functions should be present in a healthy vision for ministry. As leaders the deacons need to ensure that these are being accomplished. Their role is not so much to do the functions as to see to it that they are done. Following is a list of the functions with suggestions as to what can be done to accomplish them. Helpful links are included.

Show Mercy/Encourage those in need

  • Care for the elderly
    • Determine who is responsible to accomplish this in coordination with the elders
    • Provision of a means for the elderly and shut-ins to hear or see worship services
  • Care for Single parent families
  • Benevolence Fund and Policy
    • Ensure that an appropriate policy is adhered to
    • See to it that a Fund is administered well. It is appropriate to delegate the task to professionally trained church members.
  • Other areas to monitor

Inspire Faithful Stewardship

  • Promote offering causes and insure appropriate offering schedule is in place
  • Provide educational opportunities on stewardship of time, talent, and resources
  • Consider establishing a Stewardship Committee that includes a Legacy Fund
  • Barnabas Foundation provides a host of resources as does Diaconal Ministries Canada

Promote Congregational involvement

  • Regularly promote and encourage volunteer needs internal to church functioning - committees, ushers, etc
  • Provide oversight to ensure financial accountability and transparency
    • Ensure annual audit of church finances
    • Establish, or coordinate with, a Finance Committee or Person
  • Identify community partners and encourage volunteer involvement. An agreement with actual outcomes/commitments with each partner is encouraged.
  • Promote service opportunities with denominational agencies such as World Renew-DRS, Resonate Global Mission

Minister to the Poor

  • Establish a team for community engagement.
  • Follow up on benevolent support provided to community members
  • Identify local partnerships that have a transformational approach to poverty
  • Work and support local food banks, thrift stores, missions, etc.
  • Encourage Board involvement with local partners
  • Involve the church in a poor community internationally with World Renew

Be Prophetic Critics of Waste, Injustice…

Leadership

  • Report regularly to Council on the impact of the responsibilities delegated to the deacons
  • Provide support and accountability for committees under the diaconate
  • Meet regularly with an agenda that reflects the areas of deacon responsibility
  • Study, train, and reflect on resources that strengthen individual and corporate deacon capacity
  • Track impact on the annual plans developed in areas of deacon responsibility
  • Pray together for mutual support and for discerning God’s leading
  • Resources:      

Summary

Consider setting 3-4 goals in a few of the  above areas each year. Then keep these goals on the agenda of the deacons to make sure that they are followed up on. On an annual basis review all the areas listed to make sure you are satisfied that the church is addressing these functions of the deacon mandate appropriately.

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