OceanSide church of Christ
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STILL IN BUSINESS, BUT…
Victor M. Eskew
While Jesus lived upon the earth, He was about His Father’s business. As early as twelve years old, He had this concept in His mind. When His parents lost Him in Jerusalem, they were deeply distressed. When they found Him in the temple, “his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, they father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:48-49).
Throughout His ministry, His efforts were centered upon doing the Father’s will. Numerous passages stress this focus. “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). And again, He said: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30). A third passage is found in John 6:38. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Up to the moment of His crucifixion, Jesus’ aim was to do the will of His heavenly Father (Luke 20:41-42).
When Jesus ascended to the right hand of God, He established the church to carry on the Father’s will (Acts 2:37-47). It is interesting that the church is often referred to as “the body of Christ (Rom. 12:4-5; I Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). The church is the divine institution on earth authorized to carry out the Father’s will (Matt. 6:10; Col. 1:9-12). In essence, the church is to be engaged in the Father’s business.
The OceanSide church of Christ has been in existence since 1984. Since the first day that her doors were opened, she has sought to be about the Father’s business. She continues to be about the Father’s business at this present time.
The elders of this congregation want every member to know that OceanSide is still in business. However, due to circumstances beyond their control, they have been forced to make some changes that will be effective on Monday, September 1, 2008. These changes are listed below:
1. We will no longer be having our P.M. Worship Services.
2. Wednesday evening Bible Study will also be cancelled.
3. We will cease all mission efforts, except the support of the Kostines. Their support, however, will be reduced to $250.00 per month.
4. We will no longer provide monthly contributions to the Children’s Homes in Mt. Dora or in Valdosta, GA.
5. We are going to suspend our mailing of House-to-House.
6. We will do away with the position of Office Manager.
7. The minister will assume a part-time position with the congregation. He will teach the A.M. Bible Class and preacher the A.M. Lesson. He will continue to reside in the preacher’s home and will receive $500.00 per week for his salary. The elders have asked him to find a secular job in the community.
Again, these seven changes will be effective on the first of September. It is believed that these changes will help OceanSide continue to be about the Father’s business.
At the first of the year, the shepherds will re-evaluate the work. If further action is needed, the elders can cut other aspects of the work: the teaching program, the youth program, VBS, and our gospel meetings. Further downsizing may be needed in the future to ensure that we continue to be about the Father’s business.
All those who will be directly impacted by these changes have been notified. The elders spoke to the Kostines and the Cains this past week. Letters have been sent to Mt. Dora, Raintree Village, the Latin American Mission work, and the Prison Ministry telling them of our discontinued support. The elders have met with both Aaron and Victor about these changes. The leadership appreciates their understanding and willingness to accept these changes. They will work with Victor until he is able to secure a job. Again, the eldership regrets these changes, but fortunately, we will still be involved in the Father’s business.
It is realized that these changes will directly impact every member of this congregation. A few members may be deeply upset. The leadership, however, believes that within a month or two almost everyone can adapt to these changes. Others will not be impacted as badly by the changes, but the may still experience some grief because OceanSide is having to downsize. Again, within a few weeks, this grief will subside when all realized that these changes were needed in order to keep our doors open. We will definitely still be in business, but with only a few changes to help us continue to be a viable congregation of the Lord’s people.
AN ADDITIONAL NOTE ON THE CHANGES
Aren’t you glad that the above article is not true? How sad it would be if OceanSide had to take such drastic measures in order to remain at this location. Such a picture, however, is not impossible to imagine. Our attendance and contribution cannot continue to fall without some measures being taken. Members cannot continue to display apathy toward the Bible classes and Sunday evening worship without some type of change being inevitable.
Brethren, the leadership at OceanSide is committed to doing the will of God in all things. They want to continue to offer classes that will help each member to grow in Christ. They want to offer programs and work that will enable all to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. We need every member to commit to faithfulness. We need every member to give liberally. We need every member to find many places of service and serve with diligence and joy. Yes, the OceanSide church of Christ is dedicated to the Father’s business “without the “but.”