We have great programs and they work well for those who participate in them. To name only a few:
- Orthodox Summer camps
- Orthodox Christian Fellowship
- ZOE for Life
- Orthodox Christian Mission Center
- International Orthodox Christian Charities
- FOCUS NorthAmerica
All do good work. The problem is that our programs aren’t reaching the majority of the faithful.
The practical result of this is that not all of the many gifts God has poured out on His People are being used. The pastoral result of this is that laypeople who want to be active in, for example, the philanthropic or educational or evangelical life of the Church don’t think they can do so. Why? Because there isn’t a program they can plug into.
But new programs aren’t really the answer. Not because programs are bad, they’re not, but because the life of the Church can’t be contained by programs. And, more importantly, even the best program can (even if unintentionally) stifle the creativity of the individual.
So programs are good but not enough
So what else might we need?
For more on this and for the rest of my talk: