Subbing for deacons?posted by Little Mo | Permalink | 7 comments
Now, I’ll admit that this is something of a bugbear with me. But there are people who make me feel like I am constantly on the back foot recruiting Relay Workers because I am not a church. I’ve blogged about it before.
But, I was struck by a conversation that my parents had recently with friends of theirs whose son was thinking of working on a church apprenticeship scheme. The son said, “It will be some student work, some training and some practical work. “ “Great” said the dad, “what is the practical work?” “Oh setting out chairs, hymn books, folding service sheets and stuff”. “Oh”, said the dad “it’s just that, in our church, normal church members who have other jobs do those things. We call them deacons.”
Recently I found an old article in a Christian magazine where someone was asking whether it is really a strategic use of our resources to take people out of secular work, our most promising graduates in fact, to move chairs, stuff envelopes and cook food. Fair point.
But what we want to do in UCCF is train people to do mission work to our dying culture! I want to immerse them in the Bible AND in pioneering missionary work, mentoring and frontier mission on
Is it just possible, that apprentice-ships can sometimes be (not always, dear reader, lest you think I am over-generalising) a middle class way to deal with the deaconing that needs done in our churches – “we are all too busy to serve the church, so throw a bit of money to get a graduate in to do it”. Of course they learn to serve by doing it, I’m not denying that, but what does the church learn by paying someone (or not!) to do that stuff?
And does the church learn by releasing someone into campus ministry with a specialist ministry to students for a year? I think so.
So, by all means, recommend the church deal as the best thing for some people. But please don’t play that trump card with me. It is, in my humble opinion, a bad theology of deaconing.