We want to help people. We want to do the right thing, the good thing, the Godly thing. Often we discover that we need to learn how to help well. ABCD is a method of offering assistance which empowers those we are serving and, as it continues to grow in popularity, it's worth paying attention to.
As we head into the holiday season, we need to be aware that need doesn't stop. It also doesn't increase exponentially. How can we inspire our congregations to engage with those in need in a meaningful way? And why has Stephen Colbert called Christians out on this?
We love to do good. Sometimes though, our desire to do something good leads us to turn people into projects. In the latest issue of Partners, a diaconal newsletter, Linda Weening shares a story of assistance which may make you think about how you speak with those you serve.
You're a nurturer, but are you being nurtured? Our culture tells us we need to be productive and efficient. Usually that means every minute of our day has to be filled with some commitment. The reality is that's not healthy, truthful, or the gospel.
As deacons we can often find ourselves in situations that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable to us. As easy as it is to try to ignore or avoid these scenarios, we know that at some point, we need to venture out into that unknown. Are you ready to risk it?
To date Diakonia Remixed has received 300 responses to the survey that was created to help them evaluate the state of diaconal ministry in North America. Have you filled it out yet? If you haven't, you have less than a month to add your voice to this important discussion. So what are you waiting for? We need you! (And I'm not only talking to deacons here!)
In the Charge to Deacons it says “They are also called to speak words of Christian encouragement”. This statement is broad, and it can take many different forms. I think that makes it exciting! There are a multitude of ways we can live this out as individuals (and a diaconate) using our unique giftings. That freedom is pretty cool.
We know that giving of our offerings is an act of worship, yet with the advent of electronic giving methods one might begin to wonder how meaningful this part of our service is. How do we as deacons continue to create the space for people to enter into worship through their giving, even if it's done on a regular banking day?
When I became a deacon I got a giant binder of information. I loved it! The year after me someone got that same binder and was totally overwhelmed. I wonder if a gradual training program would be a better way of introducing new deacons to their role? The Office of Deacon Task Force is currently exploring this idea, and looking for your input!
We eagerly enter into diaconal ministry, thinking our eyes are wide open. Often we are surprised to realize how much work a deacon does! As the tasks find their way onto our plates, we try to create space for them. But what is being sacrificed for “the work of the church”?
We should give thanks to God for partners in ministry. As drought and famine ravage East Africa we are able to offer our support through CRWRC. It is imperative that deacons utilize the resources already in existence and continue to foster these relationships.
I know our journey to wholeness in Christ is a refining process; being purified in thought, word, deed and heart. But what if we find ourselves spinning our wheels in the mud of sin, not able to move forward? There are many people who are in this very situation. People who lay their burdens down, only to
Everything in our being craves shalom. This is why when we see people hurting, we want them to be free of their pain. We know it's not right. It's not what God intended. So, we try to rescue them, perhaps we even try to be their saviour... but is that what we're called to?
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?