The 'Deacon Language' of the New Testament is a Language of Mission.

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To have a heart of  deacon-ship means to have a heart filled with the love of Christ, humbly serving others in a way that you see Christ in them, and they see Christ at work in you and in your mission.

“And Yeshua sat down and he called the twelve and he said to them, “He who wants to be first shall be last, and the deacon [diakonosof every person.” Mark 9:35

“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your deacon [diakonos]. Matthew 20:26

“For the equipping of the saints for deacon like works [diakonias], to the building up of the body of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:12

“And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their diaconal [diakonian] task taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.” Acts 12:25

“And there are varieties of deacon-cies [diakoniōn], and the same Lord.”

1 Corinthians 12:5

These all refer to the carrying out of a task, or a privilege on behalf of Christ’s authority and for His glory. When the Apostle Paul speaks of the diakonia [mission] that he has received from God he is referring to his divine commission to bring the gospel of Christ to all. So, on the basis of New Testament usage, ’diaconal’ language about the Church and the ministry is primarily a language of mission.

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I say ‘primarily,’ because mission should predominate church activity. The reason we gather, worship, receive instruction, and so forth, is SO THAT we are equipped, fueled, and propelled into mission for the common good, through love, to the edification of the church, and our part in the reconciliation of all things for God’s glory. Mission is primary over what most would consider ‘ministry.’  Mission is continual. It is a task or service or the working out of diaconal activity. The gathering of the saints (church), is temporal. It happens, at times, while we’re on mission

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Finally, Jesus did not come to be served, but to actively serve (diakonēsai) (be deacon-like) (kick up the dust)  and be “on the move” to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) In that sense, Jesus is the archetypal deacon, minister, and missionary.

 

A few Questions;

What is the difference, in your view, between mission and ministry?

Should ‘mission’ be primary or the center of church activity? Why or Why not?

Was Jesus God’s Deacon? 

One thought on “The 'Deacon Language' of the New Testament is a Language of Mission.

  1. Jonathan says:

    “What is the difference, in your view, between mission and ministry?”

    Mission is the ministry of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to where he is not known. So one is a subset of another.

    “Should ‘mission’ be primary or the center of church activity? Why or Why not?”

    To paraphrase John Piper, the mission exists because worship doesn’t. When the gospel of Jesus Christ comes to a people who have not previously known him, some will be drawn and the number of worshipers will increase.

    “If mission has become secondary or nonexistent in a local church , then what sorts of things have become primary?”

    This is where the linear becomes the cyclical. 1) The purpose of the church is the mission. 2) The purpose of the mission is that worship increase. Therefore, 3) The purpose of the church is worship.

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