Order of Deacons
What is a Deacon in the United Methodist Church?
Men and women who respond to God's call to lead in service and to equip others for this ministry through teaching, proclamation and worship and who assist elders in the administration of the sacraments are ordained deacon. (2012 Book of Discipline paragraph 303.2, page 217)
Called and Set Apart for a Ministry of Service
From the earliest days of the church, deacons were called and set apart for the ministry of love, justice and service; of connecting the church with the most needy, neglected and marginalized among the children of God.
This ministry grows out of the Wesleyan passion for social holiness and ministry among the poor. The ministry of the deacon is a faithful response of the mission of the church meeting the emerging needs of the future. Deacons are accountable to the annual conference and the bishop for the fulfillment of their call to servant leadership. (2012 Book of Discipline paragraph 328, page 246)
Deacons Give Leadership in the Church's Life
- In the teaching and proclamation of the Word
- In worship and in assisting the elders in the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper
- In forming and nurturing disciples
- In conducting marriages and burying the dead
- In the congregation's mission to the world; and
- In leading the congregation in interpreting the needs, concerns and hopes of the world. (Book of Discipline paragraph 319)
Ordained to Word and Service
Deacons are persons called by God, authorized by the church, and ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word and Service to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects the two. Deacons exemplify Christian discipleship, create opportunities for others to enter into discipleship, and connect the needs and hurts of the people with the church.
- In the world, the deacon seeks to express a ministry of compassion and justice, and assists lay persons as they claim their own ministry; and
- In the congregation, the ministry of the deacon is to teach and to form disciples; and
- To lead worship together with other ordained and lay persons; and
- Connecting the needs and hurts of the people with the church. (Book of Discipline paragraph 320)
Contacts for Deacons