Introduce ministry candidates to your conference order of deacon

Deacons —  March 25, 2014

Becoming a clergy deacon entails more than getting a title. Upon election into full membership, the deacon becomes an accountable member of an order, the community of deacons in your conference. Help people in candidacy learn about your order, its commitments, and its members. Create a kind of “novitiate” program for candidates.

A few ideas:

  • Invite the candidates to certain gatherings of deacons (perhaps at annual conference).
  • Introduce them to other deacons, so they can learn the breadth of deacons’ ministries, perhaps meet someone who is in a similar ministry, and develop a deeper understanding of the ordained diaconate. Although candidates have candidacy mentors, the more deacons the candidate meets, the broader the perspective the candidate will obtain. (Be careful to observe boundaries with deacons who are Board of Ordained Ministry or District Committee on Ministry members, so they will not have to recuse themselves from board/committee discussions of the candidate.)
  • Share your order covenant with the candidates.
  • Prepare a prayer calendar that includes praying for the candidates as they take steps through the process.
  • Send a note of general encouragement to candidates every year when they return to school (or a DCom interview) in the fall.
  • Keep them informed about deacon training events in your conference or across the connection.

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The office of deacon ministry support at the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry maintains this blog for the information of deacons and diaconal ministers. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, its staff, or its board members. The blog content is strictly for informational purposes.