The Church Coordinating Team has assigned me the task of reporting to you each week the results of our meetings. As you know, the team has been designated the responsibility of implementing Mr. Herbert Armstrong's and Mr. Ted Armstrong's desire to make the Church more visible, and to build a system by which the Church can more broadly preach the gospel as evidenced by growth.
After several meetings of the Church Coordinating Team, we have realized the tremendous value of bringing together into one group representatives of the various aspects of the Work. This has allowed the needs of the Church to come into sharper focus. This need to focus on the Church's primary objectives is brought out in the purpose statement of the Coordinating Team, which follows:
"The primary purpose of the Work is to preach the Gospel. The ministry, while bearing the responsibility of that goal, is also directly responsible to harvest those whom God calls as a result of this commission. It is the major goal of the Church Coordinating Team to facilitate the development of Church growth. To do this, we must first identify those activities that will achieve the Church's goals through a thorough analysis of the entire field ministry and its responsibilities and duties. All emphasis must be placed on productive efforts and appropriate placement of priorities."
The Church Coordinating Team will function as a staff unit to Mr. Ted Armstrong for the smooth functioning of the Church Division. It is now my responsibility to chair the meetings and act as coordinator. Steve Martin will represent the area coordinators in their absence and function as secretary. We intend to keep the area coordinators, and each of you, fully informed of our progress via weekly reports. The area coordinators will receive minutes each week of our meetings (they will actually function as part of the Team when they are in town), and the Pastor's Report will bring a summary of the work of the committee to you each week to keep you informed of our activities.
As with any endeavor, we can become so involved with individual activities that we lose sight of the overall purpose. Therefore, it is necessary to be constantly reevaluating the work being done. We are attempting to refocus on the Work's primary objectives so that we may emphasize those functions that are most critical.
For too long many of us in the ministry and among the membership nave been barely allowing our candles to shine out from under our bushel baskets. We have not allowed our light to properly shine to the world, but rather have tended to live in a closed society. All too many of you have lived a role of "maintenance men" in regard to your duties in the Church, while the membership (to a degree) has passively been waiting for Christ's return. Yet, as we view our collective responsibilities squarely, we see in the fullness of our commission a responsibility that is encumbent on all Church members to promote the Gospel of the Kingdom through their personal lives and own effort too.
We want to be sure that what we develop here in the Church Coordinating, Team is balanced and orderly. We want to view, in a proper perspective, the changes that we know must be made in our priorities in order to fulfill the clear commission that Jesus Christ has set before us. Thus, there is a great deal of research and evaluation yet to be done in order to develop programs that we will be bringing to you in the near future.
We intend to provide a program concept directed toward growth and development as it reflects the Gospel being preached powerfully from every resource at our command. Examples of ideas now in the planning stages are: The reestablishment of local church Bible studies under a program that will utilize the expertise of our college faculty and HQ ministry. The goal is to make Bible studies an even more effective educational tool for stimulating member growth and development. Other ideas center on approaches you can use to stimulate growth in your areas, including such practical steps as church-page newspaper advertising of Sabbath services and Bible studies, special church meetings, evangelistic meetings, and lectures in various areas, and so forth.
As a follow-up to Mr. Ted Armstrong's sermon tape, you will be receiving a sermon outline which will expand upon the concepts given by Mr. Ted Armstrong. This outline begins what will necessarily be a process of development for the Church as we recognize the full weight of our responsibility to fulfill the commission that we have been given. We wish to have you give the concepts in this sermon outline to the Church sometime during the spring Holy Days.
Also, you are going to be receiving a survey to elicit your suggestions on successful programs you may have had in your areas to stimulate Church growth. Since member drain obviously blunts growth, this survey will also seek information to help us understand who is leaving the Church and why.
Many exciting things are happening here at HQ, which we will be reporting to you week by week. We want to keep you as fully informed as possible, and we will do our utmost to help you understand the steps we are taking, and the full reasons behind them.