Day 39 of 40: In the Orthodox Church we see the priest every Sunday performing a vital and essential part of our lives, The Divine Liturgy. However, what about his responsibility to empower the lay people in ministry? Are the faithful learning how to be evangelistic from the priest?
Where does the Christian learn outreach and evangelism? Hopefully at church from his priest. If we are called to look to the church for our leadership, answers, and direction, then our church needs to teach the priest how to teach the laity. Bishop JOHN of the diocese of Worcester explains it this way:
“The bishop serves the priest. The priest serves the laity. The laity are the bridge to society.”
In this quote we can see that priests are called to be bridge builders. Please hesitate before feeling like I am blaming you as the priest for not building up your laity to be a bridge to your church. Maybe your were not trained for this in seminary? Maybe you have never heard of this responsibility? In the 20th century the American Orthodox Church lost many of its holy traditions related to outreach and evangelism.
In the meantime, check out my book 100 Natural Ways To Grow A Church if you are looking for baby steps to get started in being a bridge builder. Also, visit www.becomingtrulyhuman.com for resources on starting a home-based discussion group.