As St. Stephen UMC continues on its journey with the Small Church Initiative, here is something to consider about the nature of church from a recent blog by the Rev. Dan R. Dick, director of connectional ministries for the Wisconsin Annual Conference. Rev. Dick is an expert in church leadership and discipleship who blogs at United Methodeviations. You can read his entire post by clicking on the title link.
"A similar thing happened to me when I preached a sermon on Christian
disciples transforming the world. I quoted part of a paragraph of our
Book of Discipline which states, 'Under the discipline of the Holy
Spirit, the church exists for the maintenance of worship, the
edification of believers, and the redemption of the world.' (2012 Book
of Discipline, Paragraph 201). I said that we shouldn’t view these as three
distinct activities, but as three aspects of a single purpose. I used
the analogy of juggling, saying you cannot just juggle two balls and
ignore the third, but all must be in motion in relationship to the
others. There is no 'two out of three ain’t bad' thinking allowed. We
engage all three or we fail to fulfill our purpose."