Deacons who are appointed beyond the local church also have appointments to a local congregation, where they are to take missional responsibility for leading other Christians into ministries of service. The Discipline does not say much about what such secondary appointments look like (¶331.5), leaving a lot of flexibility for the deacon and congregation to shape the appointment.
Plan your secondary appointment to meet your gifts, interests, and availability. If, like many deacons, you serve a demanding primary appointment beyond the local church, you certainly need not consider the secondary appointment an additional part-time job. Offer reasonable ways you can provide leadership.
Also consider entering into a secondary appointment covenant. This can confirm agreement on matters such as time commitment, office space, continuing education funds, worship participation, and more.
Here are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. Again, customize your ministry to fit your gifts, the church’s ministry priorities, and your availability.
- Preach on occasion
- Conduct weddings or funerals on occasion
- Facilitate a seasonal study group (Lent, Advent, other)
- Lead a spiritual formation group or a retreat on reflection/action
- Assist in worship leadership/lead worship on occasion
- Assist elder in the administration of the sacraments
- Extend communion to those who cannot be present (see This Holy Mystery)
- Inform the congregation about opportunities to participate in and support United Methodist missions
- Share with the congregation (in worship, newsletter, other) prayer requests for needs in the community and world
- Lead laypeople into a community ministry (one-time event or ongoing): food drive, disaster-relief kit drive; school-supplies drive, public-policy advocacy (contacting legislators about policy that affects those on the margins), environmental stewardship, clothing drive, mission trips, promote volunteer outreach opportunities
- Train lay people in worship leadership practices (reading scripture, assisting with communion, etc.)
- Serve as a chaplain at a shelter or community meal
- Mentor and guide laypeople as they explore where God may be calling them into ministry (lay or ordained)
- Mentor a confirmand
- Lead a confirmation session/new membership session on discipleship & compassion ministries