Serving as Deacons
Deacons have some of the most important roles in the church of Jesus Christ, ensuring that those who are set aside to teach and pastor have the time to do their work. Moreover, they are key to giving the opportunity for many Christians to use their gifts in the Lord’s service.
The church has not always taken the time to offer its deacons the kind of help that will allow them to know what kind of people they should be, and to know the kind of tasks they are to be involved in.
Questions such as the following are really important:
What kind of God am I serving as a deacon?
If I am to be involved in God’s purposes, what are they?
Do I have to be perfect? What kind of qualities should I have and strive for as a deacon?
Why do the people need deacons like myself? Is it just for buildings and money?
How should I do the work of a deacon? What kind of things can I learn to do better?
What opportunities do I have to serve the minister, the elders and the congregation?
It is to help deacons get answers to these sorts of questions that this course is offered to those who are deacons or who are asked to consider the work of the diaconate.
See the FAQs to find out more.
The course is usually offered as a series of online, fully interactive, workshops where you interact with other deacons (and elders) who are also completing the course.
This means that deacons (and elders) can benefit from the same learning experience together.
Yes, but you do not have to be an expert. Communication will be via email, and there will be some material to watch and read before each workshop.
If you are unsure of the technology, it is always possible to join up with a fellow deacon (or elder) for the workshops.
There is some material to watch and read beforehand.
This material is very accessible and intended for a people with a range of different gifts and abilities.
There are six parts to the course:
- Theology: The God you will serve as a deacon. This is material for you to read and some lectures for you to listen to or watch. They explain God and his purposes.
- Character: The person you want to be as a deacon. This explores the qualities and character of a deacon.
- People: The Church you will help as a deacon. This section explains the need of the people for elders like yourself.
- Goals: The Priorities you must share as a deacon. Two main goals are explored.
- Methods: The Ways you can serve as a deacon. This is the ‘how to’ part of the course – showing you how to do the work of a deacon
- Resources. This last part provides you with a list of materials that will be helpful for you in your work as a deacon.
It may be that we will meet in person for one of the workshops where possible, or for refresher workshops in the future. However, the course is mainly online.
No. However, there will be a lot of interactive discussions during the workshops. That is where you will see that your own understanding has developed and that you know what is to be put into practice in your own experience.
Most people on the course are already deacons (or elders).
However, others may be asked by their local leadership to consider the role of the elder or deacon, and be invited by them to join the workshops.
Not really. The material is written from a Presbyterian perspective, but the content of the course will be of benefit to people from other denominations.