What must I do to be saved?
For what it's worth, my church has gone through some difficult periods inrecent years. We established a "vision task force," and your "majorfunctions" sound very much like what we developed in our document over ayear or so. After that, we went through what I term as our "dark period,"in which our pastor retired shortly after completion of a major buildingproject and we lost many people. For a while, we weren't sure that we weregoing to survive. We were under the oversight of a group of pastors andruling elders from our denomination (PCA) to help us through this difficultperiod in which we didn't even have the finances to pay a pastor's salary,so we worried about how we might grow ourselves out of our troubles - thatwas what we saw as the need - grow or die. So, we were thinking of programsthat might appeal to visitors. A very wise pastor, though, pointed us toActs 2:42, which we now have on our church's letterhead:"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, tothe breaking of bread and to prayer." This great man of the faith showed us that there are only three thingsnecessary to grow a body (see Acts 2:47):1. The Word of God rightly preached (the apostles' teaching);2. The sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper) rightly administered(fellowship and breaking of bread)3. Prayer ('nuff said, right?) While we aren't "anti-program," we try not to focus on programs per sebut try to turn back to Acts 2:42 every once in a while and make sure thatwe don't eat ourselves up with the less important things, as I understandyour article to say. Hope this is helpful.
This application holds true not only for the church, but for individual Christian's lives as well, as your article illustrates. A dear friend shared this tidbit of advice with me recently, as I contemplated taking on another area of ministry: "You must remember that every good thing is not necessarily a God-thing. You must be sure you are hearing His call to you, before you say 'yes.'"
I found some good history in here as well as some good instructions. Thanks for sharing.
Record your thoughts on the cell wall