Getting the roles of governance and ministry mixed up is the crippling confusion in many councils. For deacons, the role confusion can be even more painful and debilitating. Are deacons primarily decision makers? Or are they ministers of benevolence and mercy? Are they sometimes both?
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What should the church be doing, then, if government effort seems to have little effect, except maybe for providing ongoing relief? How should the church shape its own response? Can the church actually REDUCE poverty and dependence on programs that help? Even just in our neighborhood? Seems like that’s the ideal...
When it's transition time on the church council, how can it be as smooth and as affirming as possible? Relief for the tired retirees and honor for the incoming new members are just not adequate marks of transition! What does your council do to make transitions healthy and as pleasant as possible?
Unemployment! Can deacons help? In this economy, and in many communities, our churches come in contact with job seekers. What can deacons do? The church is not an employment agency, but deacons can be a powerful resource to support discouraged job seekers...
"Who today is the focus of [the deacons'] task? Our church order and ordination form emphasize the necessity of addressing widening circles of need that center in the congregation. Is this a good distinction for us to be making? Do we run the risk of ignoring greater needs because we see only
What would make a “persuasive listener”? Well, obviously it’s someone who has already listened well to God’s leading and is listening from within God’s presence. Listening from within God’s presence would attune me to the Spirit’s leading and discerning.
You know there is a topic that NEEDS to be discussed. You WANT it to be addressed. And you KNOW it'll cause tension, stress and maybe bad feelings if you bring it up. What to do? Leaders in our congregations need to know how to help the membership deal with difficult topics in fruitful and safe ways. It can be
Want a handy way to run a pre-flight check before serving as a deacon? Want to start a good discussion with fellow deacons? Want to have a discussion at deacons' meeting about "how we're doing"? Here are a few thought-provoking questions!
What if deacons across the denomination began to brainstorm and dialog together about how to strengthen the office of deacon? What if we blew down the mail box of the deacon task force with great ideas, incisive questions, and vivid stories?
So what should deacons be talking about in their meetings? Here’s a list of some key topics that will help deacons give leadership in making sure the congregation stays fresh.
I love to read stories about what other churches are doing in their communities - especially when they teach and inspire me to think about what MY church could do! Stories can be resources by themselves AND they can lead the way to MORE resources - especially these stories from CFA!
In the years that I've been observing deacons in the CRCNA, my impression is that we don't really expect much leadership from our deacons. We have all kinds of reasons for this, but the fact is that it is the exception when deacons give intentional leadership to the congregation.
I want to tell you about a book about change that I think is unusually good - it's interesting, it's easy, it's funny, it's profound. And it'll change how you think about change while offering endless ideas for how to use these insights to bring about change in "real life".
People just aren't as worried about my convenience and my schedule as they should be. People aren't committed to making progress at my pace. People aren't first of all concerned about how wonderful I am because I'm helping them. But the Holy Spirit is at work.