A ten-lesson course, taught by RPTS President, Dr. Barry York, has been made available to the wider church. It consists of video lectures between 25-30 minutes in length, accompanied by PowerPoints and discussion questions. The material can be used to instruct a congregation on the importance of mercy ministry and the diaconate, or in the training of deacons for their work. As the emphasis is on mercy, not all the aspects of the diaconal office are treated in this course.
Some of the special features of this course are: 1) helping congregations see the connection between the worship of the Lord, the God of the widow and orphan, and mercy ministry; 2) seeing the honored role the deacons are to have as servants of mercy in a community; 3) encouraging participants to study and discuss the Biblical ways of equipping the church to have an active mercy ministry that recognizes the congregation’s gifts and limitations; 4) learning to become more knowledgeable of and active in mercy ministries that already exist in the area; 5) growing in the wisdom necessary to engage with love and confidence the poor and needy, as well as the stubborn and foolish; and 6) developing plans for how your congregation will meet the needs in your particular community.