Assumptions about Deacons
June 25, 2013
Updated June 26, 2013
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Some years ago, the Christian psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend published a book called "12 "Christian" Beliefs that can Drive You Crazy." In it they detailed some common beliefs about life and psychological health that people often assume are Biblical. The book was written in the hope that people will critically reflect on these assumptions, and ask themselves if they truly emerge from Scripture.
The Diakonia Remixed report, and hopefully the process that is emerging from it, may be an opportunity for us to do the same when it comes to the office of deacon. It is a good time to critically reflect on our assumptions about the diaconate, and to faithfully discern what comes from scripture and what comes from tradition. We have to continue to reflect on the possibility that "How we've always done it" may not be the same as "How we should be doing it."
In light of that, what do you think are some assumptions that we have often had about this office, that may have limited it in the past from developing its full potential? Here's a couple: 1) The deacons are the ones who count the money. 2) You should serve first as a deacon, and then as an elder. From then on, once an elder, always an elder.
Can you think of a few others?
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1. Money is the currency of charity
2. Once a Deacon then an Elder
3. Benevolence is for members of the congregation
4. Only Deacons can make decisions about benevolence disbursements
5. A Deacon visit is an annual event.
6. Deacons have to make widow/widower visits
7. A deacons business meeting means someone has asked the church for charity.
8. No deacon should make a visit alone
9. Its not a Deacons visit if there is no deacon on the visit
10. Deacons don't run programs
11. Stewardship is the Deacons business
12. If the church is not meeting budget, the deacons aren't doing their job.
and so many more...
Diaconal ministry is done exclusively by deacons on behalf of the church.
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