Are you called to be a Deacon?
Being a Methodist Deacon is a vocation. It is a calling to a lifetime commitment to an order of ministry, serving God in the church and in the world, and to a Religious Order, sharing a Rule of Life and committing to support one another through the discipline of religious life. It is both demanding and challenging, and also hugely exciting and rewarding. Could this be the path that God wants you to take?
What is a Deacon?
There are two orders of ministry with different emphases in the Methodist Church - Presbyters and Deacons. The core emphasis of a Deacon’s ministry is ‘witness through service’. These two strands are highlighted in the ordination service and are embodied through acts of pastoral care, a passion for mercy and justice, being a prophetic voice and a messenger of the Gospel. This includes acts of evangelism, apologetics, teaching, leading of worship and the encouraging and equipping of the whole Church’s diaconal ministry. Methodist Deacons are ordained to the diaconate in the universal Church of which the Methodist church is a part and become full members of the Methodist Diaconal Order at the point of ordination
As a Deacon, you would be a ‘focus’ for the servant ministry of Christ. Through their ministry, Deacons reveal the incarnate servant Jesus. Taking as their model Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, they help people to understand the nature of God's love and healing through acts of loving kindness. They encourage people to realise that by serving others in God’s name they also encounter, and are served by, God.
Deacons are called to:
- assist God’s people in worship and prayer;
- hold before them the needs and concerns of the world;
- minister Christ’s love and compassion;
- visit and support the sick and the suffering;
- seek out the lost and the lonely;
- help those they serve to offer their lives to God
(Ordination Service for Deacons)
Deacons make visible God’s calling to the Church to be a servant in the world. Deacons challenge the Church to respond to this calling through their own servant ministry acting as a link between the world and the church, interpreting to the Church the needs and aspirations of the world. Deacons seek to connect faith with life in today's world in such a way that people are encouraged to articulate their experience, deal with the challenges they encounter and are helped to make sense of their faith in everyday life. Deacons are able to work at grassroots, alongside people within and beyond the Church community and to offer a prophetic voice. They draw attention to and help interpret God's activity in the world and daily life.
Deacons offer Methodism and the wider Church the discipline, spirituality and commitment to community that is part of working out their personal vocation in the context of belonging to a Religious Order.
Deacon’s Story - My Call
Sitting in a crowded church on a Sunday morning, squirming in my seat and wishing I was somewhere else. I had been invited for lunch after church. My wife informed me that it would be rude not to go.
Read the rest of Deacon Nigel Perrott's story here.