Sometimes I think we make things too complicated. That includes the church. That includes both “doing” church and “being” the church. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed in doing church that we just give up. We are too tired, on ministry overload, been there and done that, and tired of seeing no results. We just want to attend church and be done. Yeah, I get it. Yeah, I have heard it – lots! And, I think that is sometimes because we are often making church too complicated.
Church is to be a community of people to help us grow in our discipleship and welcome new disciples to help them do the same. That sounds pretty simple. We get all tied up in how we do this that makes it complicated. The complication comes from such things as one or more of the following: the programming, the Sunday morning experience, the committees, the polity, the institution, no evaluations for effectiveness, the traditions, the buildings, the budgets, people’s preference, politics, power, influence, etc.
What if we thought about how to simplify church? What are the core essentials that are the most effective ways to deepen discipleship and make new disciples? Then, let everything else fall away. Often, we get ourselves so bogged down in things that we have come to believe we about in “being the church” or “doing” church, but are not really about the core essentials of church. They are merely the traditions of the church developed over time that were once effective but are no longer effective in the post-modern world.
What if we spent less time and energy doing things that are no longer helpful in deepening discipleship and making new disciples and instead spent more time making new friends in our neighborhood? What if we invested in new people? What if we actually sat down and had conversations with people eyeball to eyeball and spent time really getting to know them and what makes them tick? I think we would be much more effective in ministry if we spent more time in our community relationally.
We’ve made church too complicated and overlooked the simplest part of all – people. Invest in the people in your community. First invest in the people surrounding your church – the mission field God is calling you to reach. Then invest in the people already gathered in your faith community discipling one another. You’ll be much more effective in ministry and your ministry will be much less complicated!