Diaconal work is always associated with caring for the poor. This article argues that this should not be the case. Deacons are also called to care for the non-poor. This is the last article in a five part series on the role of the deacon. This article provides practical suggestions for deacons to assist them in their care for non-poor Christians.
This article gives a sobering reminder of the congregation's responsibility to support the diaconate. Caring for the poor and needy is the work of the congregation as well as the deacons. This article establishes the biblical ground for this calling, showing that the call is to the congregation as a whole, but also to each and every member of the congregation.
The church of Jesus Christ must supply her deacons with that which they need to do their work. How does the church do this? Through giving, answers the author. How should the church give? The author answers again: according to what God has given you, generously, and sacrificially. God cares also about the attitude we have toward giving; hence, giving must be done with sincerity of heart, cheerfully, and out of trust that God will supply what we need.
The church of Jesus Christ must supply her deacons with that which they need to do their work. Therefore, giving for the care of the poor must be a priority for the church, and must be an act of the church as an institution. But even more, giving is an act of worship to the Lord. The church’s giving is obedience to, love for, and gratitude to God for all He has done for us in Jesus Christ.
The church of Jesus Christ must supply her deacons with that which they need to do their work. This call has implications for the daily life of the believer. First of all, the believer must work as a means to generate a living so that support from deacons is not needed. The beliver is also called to share from this income with the poor. Secondly, this call affects one’s stewardship.
The ministry of mercy is an expression of God's Fatherly care for His church. It has already been modelled by Christ, and the church must follow His example. Therefore, the deacons play a large role in making sure that there is equality in God's church, that all get to live in the joy of the Lord, and that all are comforted under the pressures of sickness, loneliness and poverty.
This is an overview of the task of the deacons and the congregation toward those in need.