Community Builder

David Apple

About Me: 

In my many years of experience, I have had two philosophies of ministry: 1) There is no mercy without the gospel--we must provide an alternative to what the world offers; 2) Don't work harder than the people coming for help--encourage independence, not dependence. These philosophies are seen plainly in his work with poor and homeless persons, drug addicts, incarcerated adults and youth, nursing home residents, separated and divorced men and women, and others. 

I have served in diaconal and mercy ministry for forty years--first a Northside Chapel and Madison Ave. CRC in Paterson, NJ and, since 1988, at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. I am author of Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry in the Local Church Transforms Us All.

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Who Are the Deacons?

While the church has “capital D” elected Deacons and Deaconesses, it also has “small d” deacons—you. Together we possess a dynamic energy as the people of God.

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How to Help the Single Parent

A single parent has suffered loss—whether through death, desertion, separation or divorce. She/he will exhibit all the stages of grief but also needs to go on with daily life. Here are several ways a church can help. 

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Bearing Burdens: How Are We Doing?

Many people fear that they cannot count on others for help anymore. As Christians, we are called to respond to those in distress, following the example of our master teacher. So how are we doing? 

  • Greetings, all. I am a former CRC-er, serving in the PCA since 1988. At Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, we have provided Christian hospitality to our downtown homeless neighbors for...

  • Here's my January list as I focus on mercy and healing the effects of brokenness.

    Dream with Me, John Perkins

    Place Matters, Bill Krispin

    ​​​​​​​Shame and Grace, Lewis Smedes...

  • Hi Rene--I am in downtown Philadelphia where I have served as Diaconal consultant for 30 years. Check out  my "Setting limits" at For more guidelines, FAQ,...

  • Thanks for this, brother. I am sorry, but there is no online registration. Please see the attached form and mail it in. God bless.

  • Training diaconal servants since 1991

  • Hi Virginia--I'd recommend Lester Dekoster's Handbook for Elders

    Shepherd Leaders by Tim Witmer is also good, as is Philip Keller's A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

  • In addition to my book, Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry in the Local Church Transforms Us All, I have a video on The Role of the Deacon  which is broken up into small sections. Go to ...

  • Other resources should include Tim Keller's Ministries of Mercy and Resources for Deacons, Randy Nabors' Merciful, Chris Sicks' Tangible, and my Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry...

  • Let me suggest, also, my new book, Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry in the Local Church Transforms Us All. It is based on over 40 years' experience at Northside Chapel and Madison Ave....