MINISTERS OF MERCY
Dr. Don MacKenzie
Minister of Mercy the New Testament Deacon by Alexander Strauch is one of the best books on this subject. I have taught this book to deacons in a large church that was transitioning from a legislative role to a servant role.
In the past history of the office of deacon in the local church, especially in Baptist/Independent Bible ones, confusion has developed over their responsibilities. In most of the churches that I served over the past 40 years we had 'deacons' and 'trustees' as the leaders. It has been common practice for the deacons to be responsible for the "spiritual" business and the trustees over the "material ones."
It is my premise that the biblical position of deacon, as a servant and not a legislator, can serve as a vital role in church member care.
My experience has been that few have really practiced the New Testament model. Sitting in board meetings over the years has convinced me that there is a better way for the governance of local church function. When Elders/overseers are fulfilling their biblical role and deacons are serving as ministers of mercy under them, then the church can be the healthy organism God meant it to be.
Ministers of mercy can help, or find the person to help, in tangible ways their members. They can fix that leaky faucet, do yard work etc. They also can help through a benevolence fund to help when financial trouble hits a family. They can find out and know what phone numbers are available in a hotline in the community to help in emergencies.
In fact, I conducted Natural Church Development evaluations for churches as well as preached on the eight qualities of a healthy church. One of these characteristics is "Functional Structures." The other very important characteristics are: Empowering leadership, Gift-oriented Ministry, Passionate Spirituality, Inspiring Worship Services, Holistic Small Groups, Need-oriented Evangelism, and Loving Relationships.
As I have recently work for a year with deacons, it became apparent to me that they are 'key' to a church's health, if they are functioning in the right role.
For example, the 'empowering leader' I worked with made it possible for the ministers of mercy to be developed in his church, so these 'gift-oriented men' could be fulfilled in their servant role. Of course they cannot function without having "passionate spirituality" in their walk before those in the congregation. Then their 'holistic group' of members under their care can develop an atmosphere of 'loving relationships.' Therefore they are a key component helping each under member to develop a life style of 'need- oriented evangelism.'
With all this going on in the church they cannot help but have 'inspiring worship services!'
What a change the Ministers of Mercy can provide to revolutionize church health on campus and let the community visitors see how the Body of Christ is functioning as it should be.
BBM is pleased to recognize the ministry of Dr. MacKenzie as an associate with BBM. Don;s professional training includes above his four earned degrees in ministry including a B.A., B. Th, M. Div. and a D. Min. Additionally he has extensive training and experience biblical counseling.
Ministers of Mercy is a new workshop being offered through the ministries of BBM. This workshop will help train your deacons as servant leaders to meet the needs of your congregation and reach out to your community. Dr. MacKenzie will be the leader of this workshop. If you would like more information feel free to contact BBM.