Central Florida Presbytery Proposes Diaconal Initiative
By PCA Foundation Staff

In the PCA there are both vocational pastors — men financially supported by the church so they can devote full-time attention to the ministry — and “tentmakers” who, though ordained to the ministry, must devote a large portion of their time to other paid vocations. 

Yet, there are few churches or presbyteries that have paid staff to lead in diaconal mercy ministries.

Central Florida Presbytery’s (CFP) deacons committee has proposed an initiative to support at least one full-time deacon to equip the saints “for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:12) within the presbytery. Specifically, the administrative deacon will —

  1. Convene deacons for education, training, encouragement, and joint service opportunities.
  2. Consult with deacons, sessions, and pastors on issues related to mercy ministry. 
  3. Curate resources and a diaconal directory to connect and equip deacons.

The vision for this position was inspired in part by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), which has a full-time administrator for its committee on diaconal ministries. David Nakhla currently serves the OPC in this role and helped Central Florida Presbytery write the job description for the administrative deacon. 

According to Nakhla, “This administrative deacon will wake up every day thinking about mercy ministry. He will most certainly be used by the Lord ‘…to stir up one another to love and good works’ (Hebrews 10:24). That has certainly been our experience in the OPC.”

Central Florida Presbytery has created a website to help raise funds for the position. The PCA Foundation has provided a gift to the presbytery in support of this new role. Tim Townsend, president of the PCA Foundation believes deacons “could be much more effective in producing thanksgiving and glory to God if organized and assisted by full-time administrative deacons. I commend the Central Florida Presbytery deacons committee for this initiative and pray for its success and replication.”

According to the PCA Book of Church Order 9.2, one of the duties entrusted to deacons is to develop the grace of giving among church members. The PCA Foundation hopes to collaborate with church diaconates and deacons committees to raise awareness of the extraordinary needs within presbyteries across the PCA.

The Foundation board has also committed matching funds. For more information, visit pcafoundation.com.

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