This is what I would do....

If I were a pastor or someone in a position of "authority" in a local congregation (and in this order):

First, I would get to know the people in this church. This would take a while, but it would be worth more than "their weight in gold." I don't have to know everything about them, but I do want to know something about them. And I want to learn it from them--not just those around them.

Second, I would find out what they "do best." Example: Does Sister Joan encourage people with her words and actions--outside the context of a Sunday gathering? Would she be "fulfilled" in helping the local congregation stay in touch with one another, in the "ordinary" stuff that happens in people's lives--hospitalizations, baby births, etc? If the answer is "yes"--then let's encourage Sister Joan and help her minister to these people.

Third, I would empower people to be as creative as they could possible become. Of course, there are always parameters, and adults can accept and define parameters. Nothing would be "outside the box" would be off limits, as long as it doesn't violate Scriptural commands and admonitions.

Fourth, I would find out what the community surrounding our facilities is really like. What are the felt needs in this area? What are the real needs in this neighborhood? What are the demograhics here? What difference can our congregation make in this area?

Just some thoughts from one who has been "in the church" all my life.

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