If all we knew about Deacons and what they do was from what we observed in the pew, we might think that their work was limited to collecting and distributing offerings. And, unfortunately, it appears that some congregations do not expect much more than that from their deacons. However, according to form for the ordination of Elders and Deacons in the Christian Reformed Church, the responsibilities and call of deacons goes far beyond benevolence and acts of charity. It’s also worth noting that the “Form” does not limit the task of diaconal ministry to that of deacons. The following section is taken directly from the section of the Form that describes the role and responsibilities of Deacons.
Deacons serve by leading and equipping the church to serve its members and the world in a rich diversity of ministries, awakening compassion, demonstrating mercy, seeking justice, and collaborating with God’s Spirit for the transformation of persons and communities. In imitation of Christ’s mercy deacons summon the church to help relieve victims of injustice; equip the church for the ministries reconciliation and peacemaking; seek opportunities for advocacy; and call God’s people to faithful stewardship of the gifts of creation. By this they show that Christians live by the Spirit of the kingdom, fervently desiring to give life the shape of things to come. Deacons are therefore called to identify and develop gifts in both the Church and community, assess needs, promote generous stewardship and offer wise and respectful care for the poor. By adding to all this words of encouragement and hope, deacons demonstrate in word and deed the care of the Lord himself.
How do our deacons fulfill the charge that was given and to which they agreed to do following the ordination service. How well are they trained and guided to do this work. How do they do it and how do they equip and support members of the congregation to do diaconal ministry?
The Holland Deacons’Conference is available to train and support deacons in the important work to which they have been called. Please contact us if you are interested in training of any kind for the deacons of your congregation.
Grace & Peace,