Diaconal Ministry Resources

“The church does not simply have deacons, but is, by its very nature and calling a diaconate. The call of deacons is to motivate and mobilize the congregation for works of service (diakonia).” From: Diakonia Remixed – Task Force report to Synod 2013

Tools & Resources for Deacons and Community Ministry

(alphabetically arranged…mostly:)  Note: Resources below with an * indicate more in-depth and extensive material. 

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) for Church Leaders (Jay VanGroningen)

Benevolence Ministry Handbook* (UPDATED 09/2017) (adapted from Diaconal Ministries Canada for HDC)

Biblical Foundations & Key Principles for Neighboring Well  (very helpful intro & discussion guide about transformational community ministry for churches)

Biblical Perspective on Diakonia* by Dr. Mariano Avila (Calvin Theological Seminary)

Church Initiated Urban Neighborhood Transformation (PowerPoint slides)

Community Study Guide: Connecting with Your Church’s Context for Ministry* (Heidi Unruh) 

⇒  Deacon Job Description template – updated 05/2019

Deacons, Church, and World(à la Karl Barth)

Devotions for Deacons (Diaconal Ministries Canada)

Diakonia Remixed*: Office of Deacon Task Force Report to CRC Synod 2013

Educational Videos for Diaconal Ministry (HDC’s YouTube page)

Form for Ordination of  CRC Elders & Deacons (2016)

e-Quip: The Diaconal Blog  (Diaconal Ministries Canada)

Letter from 1939 About Deacons

Ministry In, To/For & With A Community (CFA brochure)

⇒ NEW!! Online Orientation for HDC Deacons

Resources for RCA Deacons (NEW!)

Role of Deacons in Community Engagement (Andy Ryskamp)

Ten Paradigm Shifts [for churches]Toward Community Transformation (Eric Swanson)

Transformational Church-Based Community Ministry Qualities – A Worksheet

Below are links to resources, information, and organizations from a variety of sources to assist and support deacons and others engaged in diaconal and/or community ministry: 

Resources & Support from the Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church in America 

The Network: A CRC-wide conversation about the nuts and bolts of doing ministry. A valuable resource and a place to learn from each other and from other churches across the CRC.  Specific pages for various areas of ministry including resources, news, and information for Deacons.

⇒ NEW!!! Refugee Response Resources: The RCA provides a number of useful, informative, and practical resources to support congregations and individuals wanting and/or needing to better understand, support, and respond to refugees.

World Renew: World Renew Serves worldwide as the community development, disaster response, and justice arm of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Office of Social Justice: OSJ educates CRC members, encourages and supports their engagement in social justice issues, and is occasionally involved in direct advocacy. 

Diaconal Ministries Canada: DMC provides excellent resources and information for any and all CRC deacons. Be sure to visit their Deacon Resources page.

Disability Concerns: Disability Concerns is a CRC/RCA collaboration that equips people in churches, whether or not they have disabilities, to serve God together in ministry.

⇒ NEW!!! Mass Incarceration: Resources related to Mass Incarceration from the RCA that congregations might use to educate their members and engage in advocacy activities related to mass incarceration.

Other Diaconal / Community Development Ministry Organizations

Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) : CCDA is a network of Christians committed to seeing people and communities holistically restored.

Communities First Association: CFA has as its focus the work of community transformation through Christian community development using an asset-based approach, encouraging churches and organizations to participate in community transformation.

Community Way: Website Resource!: Community Way helps community leaders, faith communities, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies make the shift from a “needs-based” approach to “asset-based community development” or ABCD process.

Parish Collective: Parish Collective identifies, connects, and resources followers of Jesus that desire to grow the fabric of love and care in their neighborhood. It is also a movement that is re-founding the local church in the everyday life of the neighborhood and learning to join in with the restorative and reconciling work God is already doing there.

Partners Worldwide: Partners Worldwide is a dynamic global network of business and professional people who bear witness to their faith and love in Jesus Christ so that rich and poor, individuals and groups, communities and nations are transformed to more completely reflect the kingdom of God.

The Chalmers Center: The Chalmers Center is a research and training organization that equips churches around the world to empower people who are poor. By changing the way churches think about poverty and training them in practical poverty alleviation tools, the Chalmers Center supports local churches as they proclaim the gospel in both word and deed.

Who We Are & Why We Do What We Do

The Holland Deacons’ Conference (HDC) is the diaconal ministry of the Christian Reformed Church for the churches and communities of Classis Holland. As such, HDC exists primarily to encourage, support and equip deacons, church members, and partners to collaborate in Christ-like acts of mercy, justice, and compassion that transform lives and communities, reflecting and advancing God’s reign.


Our Mission:

Equipping deacons, church members, and partners to participate in God’s work of transforming lives and communities.

Our Vision:

Transformed Lives and Communities

Our Core Values:

Partnership We are committed to encouraging diaconates, local congregations and community partners to work together combining resources and efforts to more effectively address and support shared diaconal concerns and projects (Acts 4: 32-35).

Justice God calls us to restore and reconcile broken relationships (2 Corinthians 5:16-19) through the pursuit of justice (Micah 6:8).

Compassion We are motivated by and committed to demonstrating Christ’s compassion for the vulnerable, poor and suffering in our communities and world.  (1 John 3:16-19).

Our Goals:

Engaging Community: HDC will encourage each diaconate and church to join in God’s transforming work in their communities.

Equipping Deacons: HDC will serve as a link to available teaching, training, encouragement, and partnerships for deacons and diaconal ministries from congregations and communities within Classis Holland.

Doing Justice: HDC will equip and encourage deacons and congregations to act on justice issues affecting vulnerable, poor and suffering people in their communities.


In addition to our work with deacons, congregations, and other partners, our work also includes the management and operations of five homes for adult men and women with intellectual and developmental differences/disabilities (IDD) known as Brothers & Sisters Homes, as well as two affiliate ministries based in Holland, Michigan serving children and their families.

Buen Pastor Ministries


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Jack Kooyman has served as Executive Director for HDC since October 2013.

Have a question about our ministries? Contact or visit us.