What makes a meeting go well? Isn't it great to come to the end of a meeting and say, "I feel calm and peaceful and happy. I even have some energy left!"
When we think about money, we tend to think about our money or my money. Yes, we know that it’s actually God’s money and that we’re stewards of that money. But it’s still easy to keep thinking about money as mine, or as God’s and mine. What’s missing in such thinking is the church. What does the church have to do with my money?
First, there’s just no getting around it, somebody has to do some good preparation, and that usually falls to the chair. If you are not the chair, offer to help; this business of having better meetings involves taking responsibility – stepping up to the tasks.
What if the most important thing a deacon could do to facilitate CHANGE would be to build a couple of really good relationships with members of the congregation? What if the purpose of the relationship was to discover together how to live a more Christ-like life, a life more marked by grace, and sensitivity to needs, and better use of gifts, and increased generosity?
Deacons are ordained as leaders — first and foremost as spiritual leaders. That means that their task is not first and foremost about developing better techniques, but first and foremost about seeking to develop transformed souls — within themselves and within those whom they serve.
The Christian Reformed Church down the street sat silent, waiting. The deacons were coming. Tomorrow they would come. They would meet. They would turn on lights; they would talk and drink coffee. They would follow the agenda. They would turn out the lights and ...
The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College has as its stated purpose to "Help the Church Help the Poor Help Themselves". As well as several options for those outside the US, it also offers two web-based training modules which are available either in a distance learning format or a self-study format.
Is there any regular and routine setting in which the deacons are asked HOW they have ministered to the poor, and to the wealthy during the past month? Is the congregation regularly encouraged to tell stories about how they’ve lived out diaconal service? Are worship services planned regularly with references to diaconal messages, functions, roles, office? Is there a story to tell?