How the Church Does More by Doing Less

I am a person who fills every moment of every day with activity if left to my own devices. When I was responsible for planning youth retreats, I often disbursed the itinerary for a ski weekend and it was nothing to have a full 36 hours programmed without a moment to spare. Often, after twisting parent's arms to allow me to take their teenagers out of school a day early over a holiday weekend, the same parents would keep their kids home the day after the trip to recover and regroup from the trip. Over time, I'm learning that in ministry and in life, less is more, and more is better.  

A few years back I read a great book by Dave Browning called Deliberate Simplicity. I picked it up again this week, and was challenged once again to think about what is most important, and make deliberate efforts to laser focus there. On the book jacket it quotes Einstein who noted once that any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex, but that it takes a touch of genius... to move in the opposite direction. I often feel like an intelligent fool.

In true minimalistic form, the following statements encapsulate how less is more in regards to the local church. How is your church doing?

Keep it simple. Keep it missional. Keep it real.

Keep it simple.
Are we doing things as a church that are hard to explain to a guest in a few sentences? Or, are things done in a simple DNA that can be reproduced rapidly, and expand quickly? Are we built for growth? Notice I did not say simplistic, or robotic. Our human bodies are built around simple building blocks we call cells, yet the result is anything bland and ordinary.

Keep it missional.
Are we doing things as a church that are directionless and purposeless in regards to reaching people for Jesus Christ? Or, are we asking ourselves regularly to live out their faith in the "ordinary" ways of life? Our hope is to see "ordinary" people engaging in evangelistic missional efforts locally and globally.

Keep it real.
Are we doing things as a church that could be describes as impression management? Are we wearing clothes, listening to music, and using a vernacular that we wouldn't use with the rest of the week? Or, are willing to be a people of authenticity. Is what you see what you get? Our desire should be for genuine people and real relationships full of imperfections, colorations, and textures where we invite anyone to "come as your are."

What about you? 
How could you do more by doing less? Maybe your specific group or ministry area should spend some time to think along these lines? What would it look like if you chose to be deliberately simple?

Pastor Milo


Post a Comment