A leader among servants : a manual for deacons' conference leaders : an examination into how deacons conferences and their leaders can better equip deacons in the local congregation to fulfill their office
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This book is designed to upgrade the skills of deacons' conference leaders in the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) so that they, in turn, help the deacons in the local churches fulfill their office better. The manual consists of an introduction, five chapters including footnotes and discussion starters, two appendices, and a bibliography.
Chapter I details the origin, development, and parachurch status of deacons' conferences. Three eras of conference history are described: 1906-1930, 1930-1962, 1962-present.
Chapter II is a biblical study of service including an examination of Isaiah's suffering servant texts, Mark 10:45 and its Christological basis for service by each Christian, and a study of four New Testament texts frequently noted as influencing our understanding of service and deacons: Acts 6:1-6, Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:8-13, and Romans 16:1-2.
Chapter III examines the theology of service in the Reformed tradition by considering statements in John Calvin; 16th and 17th century Dutch Reformed Church Orders; the 1978-1979 CRC synodical position on worldhunger, "And He Had Compassion on Them"; Karl Barth; and The Deacons Handbook.
Chapter IV considers similarities and differences in the structures of deacons' conferences by comparing past and present conference constitutions. An appeal is made for greater uniformity for deacons' conferences and a new model constitution is submitted for consideration.
Chapter V examines deacons' conference constitutions to discover how people become leaders of conferences and what their responsibilities are. Four circles of leadership are detailed, and uniform titles and job descriptions are suggested. The chapter concludes with an analysis of motivating others to engage in diaconal work.