"If you want people to take a leap, there needs to be somewhere to leap to, otherwise you’re just jumping up and down." (Naomi Klein)
Ever feel like you're just 'jumping up and down' and not getting anywhere?
Deacons in the Christian Reformed Church are chosen by their local congregations to give leadership to diaconal ministry. In this ministry, deacons empower members of their own congregation to show and share the love of Christ. (This means they don't do all the work themselves, but they equip and mobilize their church members!)
Developing and growing as a diaconal leader can be tough — but it's also very rewarding. The following resources are intended to help you in developing the ministry of your diaconate (your team of deacons) and gain a deeper understanding of your mandate.
We want to invest in Deacons as leaders in God's Church.
Our NewGround Program now offers scholarships to deacons/diaconates for any type of learning that you would like to pursue but are finding it difficult to fund. Attend a conference or event, do a book study, purchase a video series - you name it!
Here are some resources to help get you started.
Information & Resources
What Do Deacons Do
The Deacon's Mandate
What is a deacon? What is their job/role in the church?
Read the Charge to the Deacons from the Form of Ordination (2016).
Discover Your Gifts
Take time to discover how God has distributed various gifts in your church and in your diaconate. As you do ministry together, both inside and outside of your church walls, you will be able celebrate how you see God working in and through each and every person!
So You're A Deacon. Now What?
Check out our FAQs page.
Top Leadership Tasks of a Deacon
We've compiled a list of the top tasks of a Deacon.
A great place to start for new deacons or those asking, 'What on earth am I supposed to be doing?'
Ten Ways to be a Caring Deacon
Ten tips to help deacons care for others, as well as themselves, as they live out their calling and serve their congregation and community.
What Do Deacons Do?
Diaconal Ministries Canada helps deacons live into their mandate to equip and empower their congregations in the following four (4) areas:
-Mercy & Benevolence
-Service & Justice
Here's a brochure that tells deacons how they can be effective!
Deacons are called to minister with compassion, aka mercy. Compassion is made visible through visits to people in the church and in the community.
Workplans & Setting Goals
Making a Workplan
"A goal without a plan is just a wish!"
Making a workplan and setting goals establishes a common purpose, provides focus, and enables your diaconate to evaluate what is being done. It also offers a sense of accomplishment and provides mutual accountability.
Developing a Deacon Handbook
Does your diaconate have a handbook? Pulling together how, where and when your deacons do ministry will not only help new office-bearers, but also guide and direct your diaconate as you carry out your important work.
Here's a wonderful example of what one church put together.
Growing in Grace as a Diaconate
Diaconal ministry is primarily about relationships — with God and others. Diaconates can be the place where deacons “practice” what it means to minister to others and in turn minister to each other.
Making a Workplan
"Plan your work and work your plan!"
Your workplan establishes a common purpose, provides focus, and enables your diaconate to evaluate what is being done. It also offers a sense of accomplishment and provides mutual accountability. Use your meeting time to review your goals and the progress you are making (or not making!).
Devotions for Deacons
Spending intentional time in prayer for one another, listening and sharing, and reading God’s Word helps deacons reach up to God and reach in to one another before reaching out to their church and community.
Book Studies for Deacons
A great way to dive deeper into diaconal ministry and work better as a team of deacons is to conduct book studies! Find a topic your diaconate would like to focus on over the next 6 months or so and listen and learn together. You could even invite your congregation to join you.
Recruitment & Mentoring
A process which matches up people of different generations and encourages them to exchange ideas and challenge one another. Reverse Mentoring can help deacons gain understanding of our rapidly ever-changing culture.
The word mentor is defined as a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. Looking to Jesus’ example, the process is best characterized by mutual sharing, trust, and enrichment as the life and work of both participants is changed.
Deacons at Classis & Synod
Synod 2015 radically reframed the office of deacon in the CRC and so that through the full representation of the church, the voice calling for justice and mercy can be clearly heard.
Here are some resources to help Deacons familiarize themselves with Classis & Synod.
What is Classis?
What is Classis and what is it for?
And how does this relate to the work of the deacon?
Top Reasons Deacons are Needed at Classis & Synod
We've compiled our top reasons deacons are an essential part of these larger denominational gatherings.
Download the pdf and share it with your diaconate.
What to Expect as a Delegate to Synod
Attending Synod? Not sure what to expect? Here is a great resource to read over before attending this large denominational gathering.
Need additional help?
To go deeper or receive hands-on coaching, get in touch with your local Diaconal Coach.