A Deacon's Heart

The New United Methodist Diaconate

By Margaret Ann Crain, Jack L. Seymour Published
Paperback ISBN: 9780687090327 $21.99 Buy
In volume offers insight and guidance regarding this new ministerial order both to those who are called into the diaconate, and those among whom they will minister. The book begins by locating the office of deacon within the larger United Methodist understanding the ministry of all God's people and of ordained ministers. Drawing on the stories of those whom God has called and ordained to the ministry of deacon, the authors portray the crucial link between the worship of the church and service to the world that is central to the office of deacon. The book concludes with answers to common questions asked by deacons and the churches in which their ministry takes place: Who pays for insurance? What about pensions? What responsibilities do deacons have to the congregations that hire them, and what to the conferences of which they are members?


"Sparkling stories and vivid images invite readers of this book to feel the beat of a deacon's heart. Margaret Ann Crain and Jack Seymour have interviewed many deacons, weaving their stories and visions into a fabric of many colors. In so doing, they invite the Church to stretch its imagination about the diaconate, especially to see the role of deacons in healing creation and r bridging worship and work, Church and world. Through storytelling, interpretation, explanation, and question posing, Crain and Seymour portray the diaconate as a richly textured form of ministry, one that inspires and challenges the whole Church to follow God's call with courage and vigor."
-Mary Elizabeth Moore, Director, Program for Women in Theology and Ministry, Professor of Religion and Education, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"This work will help the Church to better understand, affirm, and benefit from the Order of Deacons. Far from a second-class order, deacons are an invaluable gift to the Church and a vehicle through which Christ is being served faithfully and well. Margaret and Jack help us to see the reality vividly. "
-C. Joseph Sprague, Resident Bishop Chicago Area Northern Illinois Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

"In a world with an 'abundance of need,' deacons are equipped and ordained to model and equip laity 'for ministries of love and justice. ' Crain and Seymour share with their reader’s glimpses into the lives and work of deacons engaged in diverse ministries of healing, empowerment, and transformation around the world. Through the deacons' own words, many readers will find resonances with what God is calling them to do and be. The authors explore biblical, theological, ,', ecumenical, and United Methodist understandings of the diaconate and how the ministry of deacons complements the ministries of elders and laity. This book offers both information and vision for many forms of mutual, embodied servant ministry in the twenty-first century. "
-Linda J. Vogel, Deacon in Full Connection Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

" A Deacon's Heart vividly portrays the genuine spirit of persons who, with great courage have accepted God's call into the ministry of the deacon. Crain and Seymour's research brings invaluable clarity and direction to The United Methodist Church, as well as to the ecumenical community, as we struggle to learn and relearn both ancient and new understandings about the nature of a ministry that would dare bridge the gap between the Church and the world. Crain and Seymour bring a prophetic quality to their writing, boldly calling our Church to become more able and willing to follow persons called by God to lead-persons who are called to be in service. As a deacon and a professor, I can say that their book is a winner! It will have a significant place across the seminary curriculum-from church history to practical theology. Equally important will be its place in the education of CO laypersons concerning the many dimensions of leadership in ministry. "
-N. Lynne Westfield, Assistant Professor of Religious Education, Drew University.

About the Authors

Margaret Ann Crain

Margaret Ann Crain is Professor of Christian Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Jack L. Seymour

Jack L. Seymour is Professor of Religious Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and Editor of Religious Education.