But what about diaconal ministry? In what ways do the local deacons of your church benefit from ministering in a connectional church? Indeed, how do all members of the OPC benefit from being part of a denomination that pursues mercy ministry at every level of its Presbyterian structure? To many, perhaps, this is not as obvious, so perhaps a review of the work of mercy ministry at each level of the OPC is in order.
Deacons are not to be “the servants” of the church in the sense that they personally do anything and everything that needs doing. They are servant-leaders in the church, who on the one hand have hearts willing to do the most menial of tasks for the sake of the body, yet who also have the authority to direct and oversee the involvement of the whole church in such tasks.
If you are a deacon, therefore, the special calling of your office happens to be a reflection of one of the major themes of the Bible: our God has a special concern for the poor. This is not something revealed for the first time in New Testament church polity. Rather, the institution of the diaconate is the fulfillment of a long-standing record of God’s heart for the poor.