At Grace we have a simple vision:
Creating environments where people encounter Jesus and journey together.
We’ve defined encountering Jesus pretty well. He is Savior, Master and Model. But I’ve struggled with the idea of the journey. What does it look like?
Finally, I might stumbled on the biblical answer. The journey is embodied in two Greek words that Paul uses a lot koinonia and diakonia.
The first is fellowship and “having all things in common.” It is our journey with other believers.
The second is service and it is our journey with those who are not believers. It is our love for our enemies, our compassion for the poor and needy. We journey with them, and take them on our journey just as the Samaritan did in Jesus’ parable about neighbors.
Put another way, the disciples were in koinonia Jesus and one another when Jesus was teaching them. They were in diakonia when he commissione them to do stuff for people outside their group.
Greg Jones, one of our elders added this:
In reading your blog today, I think you may be on to something . . .
It occurred to me, however, that diakonia really has an inward component as well as a service to those outside.
There is a Swedish organization named “Diakonia” that focuses on serving the needs of those on the outside. They follow through pretty well as far as I can see with that mission. They also have a really GREAT slogan: “We believe in Life before Death” (wish I had thought of that one!) , , ,
It points out the need and desirability to meet needs in the here-and-now (though not neglecting the soul).
But diakonia is not simply service to those outside the congregation. Acts 6:1-ff. Nor is it limited simply to mundane tasks such as servicing tables. E.g., the apostles concentrate on the ministry (th diakonia tou logou ) of the word.
2 Cor. 9:1 -“As touching the ministering to the saints…”
Eph. 4:11-12 –“He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry [diakonia].”
Understanding that diakonia includes both inward and outward components, I believe our Journey can be well conceived as you say, as koinonia + diakonia.
It further occurs to me that these two aspects are the mark of a living church . . .
The DNA of the living Church: Koinonia + Diakonia