A Diaconal Vision

For the Establishment of an Administrative Deacon in the Central Florida Presbytery of the

Presbyterian Church in America

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The Bible is quite clear that care for the poor is one of the central tasks of the church. But truly helping poor people requires considerable expertise, wisdom, and time. In this light, the proposal for a full-time, administrative deacon at the presbytery level has tremendous potential to strengthen the ministries of local diaconates. May this highly strategic initiative become a model that spreads to every presbytery in the denomination!

Dr. Brian Fikkert

Founder and President of the Chalmers Center at Covenant College

Co-author of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself

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Perhaps strange for a foundation president, I ascribe little value to human giving, but great value of the most profound kind to loving hearts created by the Gospel. It is the cheerful new heart of the giver that God loves, and the apostle Paul exults in the thanksgiving and glory the poor and distressed offer to God for his own surpassing grace upon his givers. But the fulfillment of this spiritual gift of love in us – its end as described by Paul – requires men full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom to distribute our material gifts. The PCA is blessed with such men on the diaconates of our churches, but these harried volunteers could be much more effective in producing thanksgiving and glory to God if organized and assisted by full-time administrative deacons similarly full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. I commend the Central Florida Presbytery Deacons Committee for this initiative, and pray earnestly for its success and replication.

Timothy W. Townsend

President, PCA Foundation

Ruling Elder, Tucker Presbyterian Church

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The recent decade of healthy development of the ministry of mercy in the OPC has not been so much about a person nor a shift in philosophy, but rather, about the vision of the OPC’s Committee on Diaconal Ministries in engaging one whose fulltime focus was to develop the work of the committee, equipping him to encourage and catalyze the network of deacons in the calling the Lord has given these servants of the church. This proposal of an Administrative Deacon for the Presbytery of Central Florida, one who will be charged with waking up every day thinking about the ministry of mercy, will most certainly be used by the Lord to do what he commands in Hebrews 10:24, “…to stir up one another to love and good works.” That has certainly been our experience in the OPC.

David P. Nakhla

Administrator of the Committee on Diaconal Ministries

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC)

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As we serve in word and deed, the Lord gives us officers in the church to lead in both areas. In the church, we have full-time pastors who focus on the teaching and preaching of the Word, yet we do not have a full-time position that primarily focuses on the ministering of mercy to the poor, the widows, and the orphans. Deacons will benefit tremendously from a full-time administrative deacon who is focused on assisting our presbytery in the best practices for serving our congregations and equipping the saints to serve our community.

Jason Mages

Chairman of the Deacons, St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Orlando, FL

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The hard work of elders and deacons is to cultivate the integrity of the church’s witness in both word and deed, respectively. On a recent international trip, one of the engines needed repair and it delayed our flight by a day. We could have flown part of the way on only one engine, but we could not have completed the long trip. The engine needed the attention of a specialist who was focused on its inner workings, so that it could contribute effectively to the work of the whole plane. The same is true for the church and its mission.

On the local church level, I have seen how a dedicated, full-time administrative deacon provides focused attention that assists the volunteer efforts of a diaconate to enlist the congregation more fully in ministries of service, while its pastors stay focused on the ministries of the word and prayer. I am confident that an administrative deacon at the presbytery level would bring strong encouragement to the diaconates of our churches as they do their part in the church’s mission of gospel show-and-tell. Would you consider supporting this effort with your prayers and financial resources?

Greg Perry

VP of Strategic Projects

Third Millennium Ministries