I have time and time again come across the suggestion that one way to identify the role of the deacon today is to describe him or her as a bridge between church and world. Sounds sensible enough? My problem with this image is that the bridge as it stands is of no use to anyone – it is static edifice. What matters is who or what crosses it? So, OK, let the image of the deacon as a bridge remain. But let’s be clear that the importance of that bridge depends on who and how many actually cross it – those from within the church to get involved as Christians in the life of society and those from society to get in touch with what the church can offer as a kingdom community.
So the test of whether the deacon is a good bridge or not is who welcomes the opportunity to walk over him (or her).