Expanding the Theological Foundation of the Deacon’s Ministry

in Ecclesiology
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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.

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References
  • 3

    Diocese of SalisburyThe Distinctive Diaconate (Salisbury: Sarum College Press2003) p. 43.

  • 16

    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).

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  • 24

    Diocese of ChichesterDeacons in the Church: Report of a Diocesan Working Party (­Chichester: Diocese of Chichester2003).

  • 26

    The Archbishops’ CouncilThe Ordination of Deacons (London: Church House Publishing2007) available at https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/…/texts/…/.

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  • 30

    Nicholas Lewis‘The Kingdom of God: Fantastic Voyage’Reflections (New Haven ct: Yale Divinity School Fall 2015) p. 46.

  • 37

    AvisA Ministry Shaped by Mission p. 110.

  • 41

    Hannaford‘Towards a Theology of the Diaconate’ p. 39.

  • 43

    Hall‘The Liturgical-Social Axis of the Deacon’s Ministry’ p. 96.

  • 44

    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.

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  • 45

    Hall‘The Liturgical-Social Axis of the Deacon’s Ministry’ p. 71.

  • 46

    Hall‘The Liturgical-Social Axis of the Deacon’s Ministry’ pp. 86 90.

  • 47

    Hall‘The Liturgical-Social Axis of the Deacon’s Ministry’ p. 102.

  • 57

    Rosalind BrownBeing a Deacon Today (Norwich: Canterbury Press2005).

  • 61

    Andrew Orton and Todd StockdaleMaking Connections: Exploring Methodist Deacons Perspectives on Contemporary Diaconal Ministry (Durham: Sacristy Press2014).

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