“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Greetings in the name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
During this Lent Season, I have been reflecting on the ministry of Jesus, who did not come to be served, but to serve, and to ultimately give his life as a ransom for the salvation of all. How does this relate to our Methodist Church diaconal ministry?
Deacons are men and women who have been called by God to serve in many different ways; from offering a lifetime commitment and a willingness to serve where needed, to bridging the gap between the church and the world. The diaconal ministry has been described as ‘standing in the doorway of the church’ keeping the door open both ways.
A Deacons ministry intentionally overlaps with the ministries of others as part of God’s bigger picture of activity and presence in the world. This helps deacons to develop the ability to practice different types of Leaderships, while seeking to model, inspire, empower, and encourage others in the servant ministry of Christ. In some cases, deacons might lead from the front, other times from behind or alongside. From washing someone feet or serving as the head cook to taking out the rubbish as a waiter; every position in a successful kitchen is attended graciously and valued in God’s eyes. Deacons aim to collaborate, cooperate, and comprise accordingly. The most important lesson that I have noticed and learned about the Diaconal ministry is that it does not take pride in any form of competition, because this does not allow for time or space to learn, listen, affirm, or challenge where it is necessary.
I recently read some profoundly powerful words on the “Leadership Matters” blog from our President of the Methodist Conference, words that I will reflect on for a long time. She said that “Jesus spent some time with his disciples, his team, listening to their questions, affirming them in their calling but also challenging them to be and do more than they ever thought possible. He ate with them, set them an example, and forgave their mistakes.” It is essential we too follow in the path of Jesus Christ in making our loving and caring presence known in our communities.
May the Holy Spirit of the Living God help and guide us in our mission of making disciples and spending time together through the servanthood ministry.