Deacon Ministry

Deacon training and consultation

Training
Deacon training can take many forms:

  • a retreat for your deacons, maybe even inviting neighboring congregations
  • a day of workshops on a variety of topics
  • training while people are already gathered at District Conference or other event.

The denominational deacon ministry offers many options, and will be happy to work with you to meet the time frame and training goals you have in mind.

Not sure what training you’d like to have? Take a moment to review the current workshop offerings below. Need training on something not on the list? We’ll see if we can put a program together.

Consultation
Maybe the idea of deacon training is too far down the road for you. Maybe you don’t even have a deacon ministry in your congregation and are wondering how to or if you should start one. Or perhaps your deacons are burned out but none of the younger members are willing to answer the call—what then? The deacon ministry also offers consultants to help you work through these issues and develop an energetic, spirit-filled deacon ministry in your church.

Deacon Ministry: Workshops

So What are Deacons Supposed to Do, Anyway? (The Four Functions of Deacons)

What are these four functions, what do they really mean, and how can you make them come alive as you work with your congregation? From Advocacy to Unity, this workshop will offer ideas on how you can apply these functions in today’s church.

The Art of Listening

The traditional annual visit before Love Feast seldom happens today, but hospital, home and other visits with church members are a big part of a deacon’s work. Those visits can be challenging, especially if you don’t know the person well. This workshop will reinforce the importance of active listening, including preparing for, participating in, and following up after a visit.

Deacons and Pastors: The Pastoral Care Team

How does the team look in your church? Are you comfortable with your role as a deacon? What is the relationship between the pastor(s) and the deacon ministry? Hear thoughts on what a good team looks like and how to deal with the challenges a pastoral care team might face.

Deacon Spirituality and Commitment

Spiritual vitality is critical to our work as deacons. Yet many of us struggle in our spiritual lives, leading to questions like “How can I be a spiritual leader for others in my church when I have so many questions of my own?” This workshop offers insights into spiritual disciplines helpful for personal growth, as well as maturity as a deacon body.

Deaconing in Small Congregations

Is your pastor part-time? Does much of the caregiving in your congregation fall on the members? What do you think of when you think of deacons—support, discipleship, hospitality, health, healing? What does scripture say? Is your congregation without a deacon program and you want to start one? What resources can you draw on? How can you be successful in caring for one another with limited time and leadership?

Beyond Casseroles: Offering Support Creatively

Loss of a loved one, serious illness, family crisis, job transition—life-changing events are opportunities for deacons to provide special kinds of support. There are many things we can do, but how do we figure out the best ways to show the love of Christ? This workshop will help deacons think creatively about the ways support might be offered before, during, and after the many transitions in life.

Offering Support during Grief and Loss

Whether sudden or expected, a significant loss is one of the most difficult of life’s challenges. Since everyone experiences grief differently, it’s just that much more complicated to know what to do. Learn from a variety of experiences to be better able to provide support when someone’s world has collapsed.

The Healing Power of Anointing

The role of deacons in anointing services varies in each congregation, but all deacons should understand how anointing can be a significant source of spiritual renewal and healing. Learn when to offer this ordinance, how to help someone prepare for anointing, and how to plan for the service itself in this interactive session.

Answering the Call

Are your deacons unmotivated, burned out, acting in rather un-deaconlike ways? Do you have potential deacons reluctant to accept the call, afraid that they aren’t ‘good enough’ or that they just don’t have time? This workshop will help you consider ways to help your current deacons stay engaged, encourage new deacons to accept the call, and enhance the overall relationship between deacons and those they serve.

Reconciliation and Peacemaking

As Brethren, the pursuit of peace is—or should be—top of mind. More often than not, though, our thoughts of peace are more in terms of worldview rather than a look into the windows of our own congregations. Learn how to recognize potential conflict on multiple levels within your congregation so that our churches might be models of peace.

For more information, email us at DM@brethren.org, or call 800-323-8039, ext. 303.