Sunday, December 07, 2008

Deaconing Thoughts

The PCA Book of Church Order discusses some details of the office of Deacon (see chapter 9). It certainly emphasizes the ministry to those in distress within and without the local congregation. In addition, it notes that the deacons are responsible for the upkeep of the local church's property and various other duties (encouraging the congregation to give, etc.). Thus far, our little diaconate has mostly experienced the latter issues of caring for the property.

Change comes, however.

There's only three of us, and our chairman has recently accepted a job near Chicago. It's a great job for him and much closer to his family, so we certainly wish him well. My duties have been somewhat light, I suppose partly because I lead music during worship and currently teach Sunday School (Intro to Covenant Theology - I'm learning lots). At any rate, as of last Sunday I'm the new chairman of the deacons (all both of us).

Also, the tough economic times have brought needs to the diaconate that I will not discuss - but it is new to me to be on the front line and into the details of such events in the lives of others.

I think of John 13:34-35 where we find that Christians show their "bona fides" by loving each other. Not just feeling good about each other, but bearing each other's burdens. While taking care of the church's property is important, how much more important is the primary calling of the deacon? We're leading our local body to show that we are truly part of the Church Universal by our love for each other.

Through all this, I realize I must take my prayer life much more seriously. God has called me to this, and I must certainly seek His help as I am inadequate to the task.

1 comment:

Andy P said...

Does your church have Stephen ministers? While it's not completely on target for what it sounds like you're talking about one thing that impressed me about it was the training in how to access community resources for congregants. I have very little knowledge of the food stamp system, medicare, or local resources and I was impressed when my parents went through it that they learned how to help people access good resources outside as well as inside the church.