Thursday, May 12, 2016

Building Kingdom Communities with the diaconate as a new order of mission

New book out by David Clark (member of the UK Methodist Deacon Order), author of Breaking the Mould of Christendom (summary here), in which he explored the diaconal ministry of the whole people of God and the role of Deacons in the 'Copernican shift' that needs to happen. Highly recommended. His new book, 'Building Kingdom communities' builds on the work of his first book. The promo blurb: 'In a world in which resources are unjustly distributed, identities are under threat and solidarity is fragile, the toughest task facing humanity is the quest for community. Christians fail to grasp that in the gifts of the kingdom community - life, liberation, love and learning - they hold the key to what the search for community is all about. This book describes those gifts and how a servant church, through the creation of its diaconate as an order of mission, might offer a fragmented world new hope. The Methodist Church in Britain is taken as a model of what could be achieved'.
(Book is available on Amazon, £6.99 plus postage. I found it on Fast Print, but postage is prohibitive outside of the UK/Europe. I'll keep looking to find a better deal to purchase the book!)

David's first book, Breaking the Mould, was such a great read (my copy was passed around to many people who enjoyed reading it!), and I'm looking forward to dipping into his new book. I'd say both books are definitely essential reading for Deacon candidates, Deacons in ministry, Selection Panels, those who are involved in formation for ministry for all ministry candidates, and for all those engaged in leadership in the ministry and mission of the church - in local churches and congregations, and in the 'governance' part of the church. The 'Copernican Shift' is desperately needed in the way diaconal ministry is seen within the church, and the way it might offer 'a fragmented world new hope'.
David Clark became a member of the Methodist Diaconal Order in 2005. Prior to that, he worked as a Methodist minister in Sheffield and London, and as a senior lecturer in community education at Westhill College, Birmingham. He played a leading role in the emergence of the Christian Community Movement, set up the Christians in Public Life Programme and founded the Human City Institute. He is co-ordinator of the Kingdom at Work Project. He has written at length about the mission of the church in today’s world.

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