A response to "Elder-pastors and deacon-evangelists" and "From maintenance to ministry"

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Carol L. Mutch

Abstract

We don't get it. The truth is we just don't get it. Those of us who attend worship faithfully every Sunday, contribute regularly, and raise our children in the church don't really understand "office." Most congregants who are approached to serve as elders and deacons respond with two questions: "Why me?" and "What does an elder or deacon do anyway?"


There has been a serious breakdown in communication between what Christ wants from his followers and how the church has been structured. We spend so much time organizing ourselves, attending meetings, and arguing over decisions that we have precious little time left for doing what God calls the church to do, and somewhere along the line we have failed to communicate to believers the joy of discipleship. The credibility gap between living the abundant life and finding enough people to serve on a consistory is huge. When I was first elected a deacon in my church, I was so thrilled that I invited my close friends to a celebratory luncheon the day I was ordained. How is it, then, that so many people see serving in the church as a burden rather than a blessing? How can we talk about honoring office when we fail to perceive what a privilege it is to be about God's work?

Article Details

Keywords
Church officers -- History; Elders (Church officers); Deacons; Church officers; Clergy; Laity; Reformed Church in America -- Clergy; Reformed Church -- Clergy; Reformed Church orders; Church work; Pastoral theology; Brownson, James V. Elder-pastors and deacon-evangelists. Reformed Review 56 no 3 Spr 2003, p 235-248. 0034-3064; Voskuil, Betty. From maintenance to ministry. Reformed Review 56 no 3 Spr 2003, p 249-255. 0034-3064
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Articles