Overture 16: Appoint a Task Force to Revise the Church Order Articles Related to the Office of Deacon
A. Materials: Overture 16, pp. 690-92
- That synod instruct the Board of Trustees to appoint a task force to review the articles of the Church Order relating to the office of deacon at the church and major assemblies, as well as recommend resources that encourage revitalization of the diaconate and its role in the community. The intent of the review would be to encourage, empower, and educate churches and broader assemblies to structure their diaconal ministry in ways that
o 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. 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.
o select leadership based on gifts commensurate with the office and vision for ministry.
o lead church members to exercise their gifts and so enhance their own
faith walk as they minister with community, nation, and world.
o establish terms of deacon tenure that provide for consistent ministry
oversight, implementation, and coordination.
o address the place and role of deacons at the broader assemblies.
a. The current structure and tradition do not address the ministry
context or the expectations of the equality of office established in
Church Order Article 2.
b. The mandate in the charge to deacons is difficult to fulfill given the
current language in the Church Order.
c. Past efforts to address this (i.e., asking for stronger classical diaconal
committees) have not resulted in churches being the agents of transformation
in their communities.
2. That synod declare this to be its answer to Overture 16.