Deacon program lutheran


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Deacon program lutheran

  1. 1. THE DEACON PROGRAM EQUIPPING LAY LEADERS For MISSION AND MINISTRY The Mid-South District Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod 1675 Wynne Road Cordova, TN 38016-4905 1-901-373-1343 1-866-373-1343
  2. 2. EQUIPPING LAY LEADERS FOR MISSION AND MINISTRY THE DEACON PROGRAM - MID-SOUTH DISTRICT - LCMSThere is a recognized need to provide pastoral services to congregations whosecircumstances make it impossible for them to support the ministry of a full-time,seminary trained pastor. This growing crisis is apparent in both rural and urban areas.Congregations may be vacant or are seeking assistance for their pastor. Immigrant andethnic groups need spiritual leadership that fits their special circumstances. A programhas been established to place qualified laymen to serve in a congregation under thesupervision of an ordained pastor. This program is called “The Deacon Program.” Thename “deacon” was used in the New Testament in reference to commissioned laymenwho assisted a congregation’s clergy in a variety of ways.Depending on the abilities and training of the individual person, a deacon may be able towork in a variety of areas of service in the local congregation, including but not limitedto: • assisting the pastor in administration of sacraments, preaching, and teaching. • developing outreach ministry programs • developing stewardship programs • developing small group ministries • participating in a care-giving ministry including hospital and home visits • leading education, music or youth ministry programs • congregational administrationThe Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod has authorized the districts to train lay deacons tomeet the ministry needs of our time. It is imperative, then, that the Mid-South Districtaddress the existing needs and increasing opportunities with a “Deacon Program.”This information packet outlines the procedures and contains the forms needed for anindividual and/or a congregation to participate in the Deacon Program of the Mid-SouthDistrict.TO BECOME A DEACON: 1. Making the Decision: There comes a time in an individual’s life when God speaks through His Word and/or through another Christian to inspire him to greater service for Christ and the Church. If you feel that God is calling you to another level of service for Him, then the Deacon Program may be for you. To begin study this information and discuss it with trusted Christians, especially, your pastor. Then complete the enrollment application. 2. Enrollment and Development of a Ministry: The attached application form contains the information needed for acceptance into the Deacon Program. Upon approval by the District the individual shall be given information regarding instructors, the course of study and ministry opportunities. Plans April 29, 2005
  3. 3. should be made to participate in appropriate classes. Also, discussion may begin with a congregation and a supervising pastor to develop the Deacon’s ministry. The congregation, the supervising pastor and the deacon shall complete and sign an “Agreement for Deacon Ministry.“ 3. Course of Study: There are ten classes in the course of study for the Deacon Program. A brief description of each is listed in the accompanying information. It is the goal of the program that a deacon will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes taught in the course of study; however, there are no prerequisite courses necessary for any particular area of ministry. A deacon may begin service at any time, in any area of ministry in his own congregation that is approved by his own congregation and his supervising pastor. 4. Licensing for Service: The individual must complete the four core courses before he is eligible to serve as a licensed deacon. The congregation, the deacon and his supervising pastor shall prepare a description of the deacon’s planned ministry. The plan shall be submitted annually to the District on the “Ministry Description Form” along with an “Agreement for Deacon Ministry” signed by the congregation’s president, the supervising pastor and the Deacon. Prior to the initial licensing, an interview with the District President or his representative is held. The District President will then issue to the deacon a “License to Serve as a Deacon in the Mid-South District.” The deacon can then serve in another congregation other than his own. It is recommended that a Service of Commissioning be held at the local congregation to mark the beginning of a Deacon’s service. The licensing shall be renewed annually. 5. Certification: The District will award a “Certificate of Graduation and Recognition” after successfully completing all ten classes. The instructor registers all completed classes with the District Program Director. Comparable courses taken in another District or at an educational institution will be accepted at the discretion of the District Advisor for Instruction. The deacon has then reached the status of “Certification” in the Mid-South District Deacon Program.FOR THE CONGREGATION: 1. Making the Decision: When a congregation identifies a need for pastoral ministry, it may study the possible fulfillment of the need by acquiring the services of a deacon (a layman serving under the direction of a supervising pastor). After receiving full information from the District about the Deacon Program the congregation may make the decision to request the services of a deacon. 2. Developing a Deacon Ministry: The congregation may identify a qualified person within the membership that they believe has the potential to serve as a deacon or information about available candidates may be requested from the April 29, 2005
  4. 4. District. Discussion with the prospective deacon candidate shall lead to the development of a ministry plan, which includes the areas of service, the selection of a supervising pastor and a course of study. 3. Agreement for a Deacon Ministry: When a deacon ministry plan has been developed it shall be submitted to the District President on the “Ministry Description Form” and the “Agreement for Deacon Ministry” form. The President shall sign the form to confirm the agreement for Deacon Ministry and the status of the deacon indicating whether he is licensed or unlicensed. The deacon shall then be placed into service. 4. Placing into Service: It is recommended that a Service of Commissioning be held to mark the beginning of the deacon’s ministry and to ask for God’s special blessings on the ministry. 5. Annual Renewal: An authorization to continue the deacon ministry shall be given by the District President on an annual basis. The deacon and the congregation shall submit applications for renewal by December 1. Any significant changes that have been made in the ministry plan shall be identified for approval at that time.DEACON PROGRAM COMMITTEEThe following committee administers the Deacon Program: Rev. Kenneth Lampe Rev. Dr. Terry Tieman (President) (District Executive of Outreach) 1675 Wynne Road 1675 Wynne Road Cordova, TN 38016 Cordova, TN 38016 1-901-373-1343 1-901-373-1343 Rev. Carl Wenck Rev. Dr. Ronald Wiese (Director of Pastoral Supervision) (District Advisor for Instruction) 811 East Clark Blvd 210 Washington Avenue Murfreesboro TN 37130 Memphis, TN 38103 1-615-893-0338 1-901-525-1056 Mr. Bill Stevenson (District Deacon Program Director) 127 Hillcrest Brownsville, TN 38012-2702 1-731-772-2816 April 29, 2005
  5. 5. COURSE OF STUDY 1. Old Testament: The Old Testament study will focus on God’s plan of salvation as revealed in the Old Testament and leading to the New Testament. 2. New Testament: The New Testament study will focus on the person and work of our Savior to show the completion of God’s plan of salvation. 3. Doctrine: In this course the basic teachings of God’s Word as recorded in Scripture and supported in the Book of Concord will be studied. 4. Homiletics: This course will concentrate on the preparation and delivery of a sermon with the proper balance of Law and Gospel. 5. Worship: In this course the basic elements of Lutheran worship will be studied, including confession and absolution, the Word and Sacraments, prayer and how they are included in a variety of worship formats. 6. Biblical Interpretation: Fundamental principles and methods that lead to a competent reading and understanding of the Bible in a vernacular translation. 7. Care-giving: Concern for those in special need will be stressed including those in hospitals, rest homes, home-bound, and those in bereavement. 8. Evangelism and Assimilation: Developing an effective program of outreach and assimilation are central to this course. Small-group ministry is included. 9. Teaching the Faith: This course will examine the essential elements of the teaching-learning process as it applies to teaching the Christian faith. 10. Church History: This course introduces the student to the discipline of church history, and provides an overview of the life and mission of the Church in the world from apostolic times to the present Instructors: The Deacon Program Committee will designate instructors in various locations around the District with class schedules adapted to the needs of the students and instructors. Instructional materials used in academic or mission settings of the Synod or those developed by the District Advisor for Instruction are approved by the Committee and adapted by the instructors. Cost: Tuition for the training is $170 per class. Other costs include any books and materials needed for the class. The congregation which is being served will normally assume the cost of the training. The Mid-South District may provide scholarships by application in cases of need. April 29, 2005
  6. 6. APPLICATION FOR THE DEACON PROGRAM Mid-South District – The Lutheran Church-Missouri SynodDate: _________________________This application is for: ______Deacon, ______DELTO, ______Parish AssistantName: _________________________________________________________Address: ________________________________________________________City/State/Zip: ____________________________________________________Telephone: _______________________ E-mail: _________________________Occupation: __________________________ Work Telephone: _____________Employer: _______________________________________________________Past Work Experience: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________Education Level: ____High School ____B.A./B.S.____M.A./M.S. ____Other: _____________________________________________________Home Congregation: _______________________________________________City/State/Zip: ____________________________________________________Pastor’s Name: ___________________________________________________Past Ministry Experience: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________Factors contributing to your decision to apply:Please write a brief biography including a statement of faith:(Use the back and/or add an additional sheet) Return the completed application to: Mid-South District – LCMS, Deacon Program, 1675 Wynne Road, Cordova, TN 38016 - 4905 April 29, 2005
  7. 7. PASTOR’S EVALUATION FORM Candidate for the Deacon Program, Mid-South District-LCMSName of applicant: ________________________________________________Address: ________________________________________________________City/State/Zip: __________________________Telephone: __ ______________1. How long have you known the applicant? ____________________________2. In what capacity has the applicant served in your congregation? _____________________________________________________________3. Do you anticipate that the applicant will serve as a deacon in your congregation? _______ If yes, in what capacity? ______________________ _____________________________________________________________4. Additional information about the applicant that you consider significant (family circumstances etc.):Signed: ___________________________________ Date: ___________ ____Congregation: __________________________ Location: _________________Telephone:_________________________ E-mail:_______________________ Return the completed form to: Mid-South District - LCMS, Deacon Program, 1675 Wynne Road, Cordova, TN 38016-4905 April 29, 2005
  8. 8. AGREEMENT FOR DEACON MINISTRY In the Mid-South District - LCMS Congregation, Deacon, and Supervising PastorIn the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.To:_______________________________________________________, Deacon ______________________________________________, Supervising PastorHaving called on the Lord our God for guidance and in the exercise of the authoritythat has been invested in us, we, the members of ______________________________________________________________________________Lutheran Church of____________________________________________ request that you serve us inthe Deacon Ministry and honor the Mid-South District’s policy and guidelines: 1. A Policy Concerning the Use of Deacons in the Mid-South District; 2. Guidelines for a Pastor Supervising the Work of a Deacon in the Mid-South District; 3. Guidelines for congregations Regarding the Performance of Certain Pastoral Functions When No Ordained Pastor is Available.For these services the congregation agrees to provide the following: Deacon: Supervising Pastor:• The attached Ministry Description shall be a guide to the services involved in this agreement.• The Congregation, Deacon or Supervising Pastor may terminate this agreement with 60 days notice.Date: ______________________________Congregation President: ________________________________________Deacon: _____________________________________________________Supervising Pastor: ____________________________________________ (Note: If the supervising pastor is from a congregation other than the congregation being served by the deacon, a letter of consent from that congregation shall be attached.)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Agreement Approved to serve as Licensed Deacon__________Agreement Approved to serve as Unlicensed Deacon __________Agreement Denied_____________DISTRICT PRESIDENT:___________________________________Date:__________________ Note: Copies of the completed and signed agreement will be made available to: District President (original), Congregation, Circuit Counselor, Deacon and Supervising Pastor April 29, 2005
  9. 9. Ministry Description FormNote: Use this form to summarize the plan for the ministry of the Deacon. It is to be reviewedannually at the time of renewal (December 1).Name of Deacon: _________________________________Purpose of ministry: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Responsible to: ___________________________________________________Ministry description: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Desired results: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Time commitment (amount of time, length of service): _____________________________________________________________________________________Plan for training and study___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Other:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Date: _________________________ Return the completed form to:Mid-South District - LCMS, Deacon Program, 1675 Wynne Road, Cordova, TN 38016-4905 April 29, 2005