International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Structures or Persons, Activities or Formations: Reconsidering the Church’s Pastoral Priorities
Clement I. Osunwokeh

The evangelization effort of the missionaries in planting the faith gave way to the present pastoral activity among the faithful now institutionalized as a local church. The structural aspect of this church is essential for its external reality and visible unity. However, the hitherto overemphasis and undue concentration on this particular model of the church at the detriment of other models have many consequences. Among these are: seeing the treasure and pride of the church in structures rather than in the Christian community of persons living a vivid faith and worship; unhealthy competitions and inordinate anxieties on structure at the neglect of other apostolates; focusing on social activities at the overlook of spiritual formation of the faithful and complacency in apostolate induced by mighty monuments built under manifest insensitivity to the plight of the poor masses. The paper is an attempt to highlight and address these anomalies, with a view of creating a need for a reconsideration of our church’s pastoral priorities. The paper intends to proffer proposals that would present the church, in the light of the New Testament’s teachings, as taking the opposite direction to counter the ostentatiously materialistic stance of the present age rather than allying with it.

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