For us to be more effective in “experiencing and extending the life-changing love of Jesus,” we need to grow in our capacity to show mercy. And that begins with growing our leadership.
When we first ordained deacons at Trinity seven years ago, our intent was that ordaining those 5 men would be only the beginning of a larger process. The plan was to subsequently gather together a diaconal team, comprised of both ordained deacons and other suitably gifted men and women members, who would together facilitate the care for the physical needs of our congregation and community. This was in line with our church’s Book of Church Order (always a thrilling read), which states that “it is often expedient that the Session of a church should select and appoint godly men and women of the congregation to assist the deacons in caring for the sick, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, and others who may be in any distress or need.”
Well, it’s taken longer than we intended, but we’re finally beginning to see this vision realized. In the coming weeks, Michael and I will begin training groups of men and women who, together with the current deacons, will comprise Trinity’s and Redemption’s diaconal teams. Some of the people being trained are those you, the congregation, nominated to be deacons. Others are people our church leadership (elders, deacons, and WST) have selected. At the end of the training process, those willing to continue forward will be examined by the Session and then presented to the congregation.
We have some people in our congregation who are remarkably gifted when it comes to serving others and showing mercy to those in need. I’m excited to see what God does as our diaconal team expands and more people with these gifts are added to this leadership team!