November marks Redeemer’s annual Officer Nomination month, a time when members have the chance to nominate other members who they think God might be calling them to serve on our Session and Diaconate. In 2013 I received a Diaconate nomination from a friend, and though I wasn’t sure what to expect, after much prayer and conversation with my wife I decided to accept. Following the interview and training process, I officially joined the Diaconate as a West Side deek (our affectionate term for a deacon or deaconess) in June 2014.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “What is the Diaconate?” The Diaconate is comprised of deacons and deaconesses from each congregation, and as our Book of Church Order states, the office of the deek is one of sympathy and service, striving to “minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress.”
Care recipients of the Diaconate are fellow members and regular attenders who are often seeking financial assistance and spiritual guidance from the church. It is the distinct privilege of deeks to walk alongside them through these tough seasons of their lives. Though it may be hard for a care recipient to see God’s work in their life during this time, I am constantly amazed at what he is doing through their experiences, and what he is revealing about the dignity of all who are made in his image. Hearing someone courageously reveal their struggles and frustrations is humbling, and it has helped me grow in empathy toward my neighbors and reexamine how I view success and comfort in my own life.
Beyond this, serving on the Diaconate placed me in a new family of brothers and sisters who actively seek God’s glory in their service toward their clients. From monthly gatherings and regular meetings with our care recipients to our annual retreat, I am grateful for the lifelong friendships made and the lessons learned.
As I became more involved with the Diaconate, I felt God pushing me toward full-time ministry. Thanks to my time as a deek, I felt affirmed in making the decision to attend seminary and later pursue a huge vocation change by coming on staff with Redeemer just a couple of months ago. Though I’m now transitioning off of the Diaconate, I’ve already felt my experience influence my ministry, and I know that it will continue to do so throughout my life.
This month, join me in considering those in your community who might be a good fit to serve this wonderful ministry with which God has blessed Redeemer.
For more infotmation visit redeemer.com/nominate.