Methodist Deacon David Clark, who has done groundbreaking work on a radically-renewed vision for the diaconate, responded to Deacon Michael’s article:
I am personally convinced that a renewed diaconate holds the key to the renewal of the church of the future – which I have called ‘the diaconal church’ (see my blog). In short, the future for church and world must be ‘diaconal’. This means all human collectives learning to take on the attributes of servants of the kingdom – or what I call ‘the kingdom community’ – if humankind is to survive and flourish. But it also means the diaconate, as an order of ministry, moving into pole position as enablers and energisers of the laity, and of any fellow travellers, as servants of the kingdom in the world. To free themselves for this vocation, a renewed diaconate can no longer allow itself to get bogged down in an anachronistic (even if still important in certain contexts) service-dominated ministry. For a renewed diaconate to be liberated for its role as mission enablers, presbyters (priests), in their turn, need to re-focus on their primary, but too often neglected calling – enabling the gathered church to be transformed by and bear witness to what it means to be a kingdom community.
Find out more about David Clark’s vision on his blog http://www.diaconalchurch.com/
and his Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Clark/e/B00SWVJZKK
Let us know what you think!