The work of John N. Collins has revolutionised our understanding of diaconal ministry, giving it a Christological foundation that broadens it from a focus on humble service of caring for people in need to being a ministry of heralding the Kingdom of God, with service directed before all else to God but with humans as the beneficiaries. This paper argues for a further development of the theological underpinning of diaconal ministry which recognises that the ministry of Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit and that he sent the Holy Spirit to empower his followers in their proclamation of the gospel. Strengthening the pneumatological foundation of diaconal ministry gives it a more secure Trinitarian foundation and an impetus for mission that could help to transform the mission of the church.
John N. CollinsDiakonia: Reinterpreting the Ancient Sources (Oxford: Oxford University Press1990); Deacons and the Church (Leominster: Gracewing; Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing 2002); Diakonia Studies: Critical Issues in Ministry (New York: Oxford University Press 2014).
Stanley HarakasLiving the Faith: the Praxis of Eastern Orthodox Ethics (Minneapolis: Light & Life Publishing Company1992) p. 20 quoting I. Bria (ed.) Martyria / Mission: the Witness of the Orthodox Churches Today (Geneva: World Council of Churches 1980) pp. 66–71.