A New Direction for our Deacon Ministry by Rev. Dr. Brad Klostreich
This year has been one of changes here at Palm City Presbyterian. We’ve seen changes in leadership, changes in ministry, as well as changes in some of our structures. Last spring I approached our Deacons about a new way of looking at their ministry.
Traditionally, our Deacon ministry has focused on giving assistance to local mission projects here in Martin County. We’ve helped out organizations such as House of Hope, Refuge Ranch, CareNet, and many others. We’ve helped both financially as well as engaged in service. These are importance ministries in our area that serve those with less resources or have experienced great loss and hardship in life. It’s important that we continue to engage in these important community para-church organizations.
However, the traditional role of Deacon ministry, both biblically and historically, is that of Pastoral Care. Which is why our Deacon ministry, beginning with 2017 is changing its mission focus to that of focusing on the needs and cares of our congregation. We will still continue to support our great local mission causes like House of Hope and the Salvation Army, but will do so from within our Mission Team headed by Elder Sue Henrich. The Missions Team, which historically has focused solely on foreign missions, will now be responsible for local missions as well. Our Deacons will focus on our people.
Each member of our church will be ‘assigned’ to a Deacon who will hopefully be in contact with you in the following weeks.
The model verse for our new Deacon ministry comes from Ezekiel 34:16 “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will watch over and shepherd with justice.” NRSV.
This verse shows us five principles for Pastoral Care within a local congregation.
- To lead to Christ those who are lost. Luke 14:23
- To restore to Christ who have fallen away. Luke 15:4
- To heal those who are wounded. 2 Corinthians 2:7-8
- To strengthen those who are weak. Luke 22:31
- To guard those who are strong. John 21:17
Some of our Deacons will be strong in some areas but weak in others. Some of the needs of our people will force certain deacons to focus on some areas to the exclusion of others. But all of our people fit into at least one (possibly more) of the above categories.
Look for a contact with your new deacon in the upcoming weeks ahead. Share with them how your spiritual journey is going. Share what your needs are. Let them care for you in the way Jesus shepherded his sheep.
Pastor Brad Klostreich