The Copperbelt Joint Deacon’s Retreat took place on 16th October at Nkana East Chapel in Kitwe. The last time there was such a retreat was in 2000 and was also held in Kitwe, as it is the central place. This time round, the retreat had participants from Central Baptist Church (Chingola), Trinity Baptist Church (Kitwe), Riverside Chapel (Kitwe) and Grace Reformed Baptist Church (Ndola). The number of participants was thirteen, the largest contingent coming from Grace Reformed BC who had five participants (four deacons and a prospective deacon).

The speakers were Pastor Brian Ndhlovu of Fairview Reformed BC and Pastor Happy Ngoma of Riverside Chapel. Each presentation ended with a question/answer session.

Pastor Ndhlovu spoke on Maintaining Domestic Competence as a Deacon. In this paper, he explained what domestic competence was all about. He also mentioned areas where it was needed: spiritual life of the home, obedience from children and submission from the wife. These were to be achieved not by force but by love. He then proceeded to explain how to maintain this competence.

In his second paper he dealt with Hindrances to Efficiency as a Deacon. Some of these include wrong criteria and motive when entering the office, not understanding what the office is all about and being overstretched in the work, lack of communion with God, lack of love for the work and the people being served, etc. He did emphasize that all hindrances were of a spiritual nature and ultimately from the devil who opposes everything that God is doing.

Pastor Ngoma presented one paper dealing with the Importance of the Office of deacon and Managing Diaconal Roles. He gave a scriptural background to the Two Offices (Elder and Deacon) and then dealt with the Diaconal Roles, which were the caring of people’s physical welfare. He then dealt with the Importance of the Office: relieving the elders of mundane matters, caring for the needy, being agents of mercy, essential to the Church’s witness for Christ.

The participants enjoyed the retreat and were “diaconally” edified. The venue was quite conducive and the food excellent- and plenteous. The only problem was that the program started rather late.

God willing, this event will be held on a more regular basis and that more reformed and like-minded churches on the Copperbelt will participate in the future.