Ahh, Simple Church! (Encore)

In my short time as a pastor I have come to appreciate the idea of simplicity.  In a previous church I nearly burned myself out and almost ruined my marriage by tending to programs.  I believe the same can be true for parishioners.  

For some reason we believe that in order to plug a parishioner into the church body that we have to get them doing something in and for the church.  Now, don't get me wrong... I am not positioning this blog post against serving in the church.  Rather, my concern is that we believe doing is what assimilates a parishioner and grows the church.  

A good reflective question for us to ask is, "are we in the church body to do or to receive?"  In other words, "does the body of Christ gather together to do programs or to receive from the Word together?"  

The great news for us is that we come together as the body of Christ in a Sunday morning worship to receive from God in His Word and Sacraments.  I appreciate idea of the church having lanes of ministry and the simplicity of the church having only 2-3 primary lanes in which to minister and feed the flock.  At Sidney Lutheran Brethren my hope is that we are fed in our Sunday  Morning Worship Service, Sunday School and Wednesday Night Studies so that the flock is blessed and then positioned to bless their neighbor through their vocation.  Beyond these 3 primary lanes, I believe the church can create a plethora of programs and make things so complex that the church (i.e. programs) begins to burn the flock out and the staff.  Furthermore, if not careful the flock can become so busy serving in the church that it fails to freely live out their lives in their vocation in the midst of the world.  

There is something very refreshing and simple in seeing the church as the body of believers gathering together to receive from God through His Word and Sacraments.  Receiving from God, being blessed, so that one might be a blessing to others through their vocation!  Ahhh, Simple!

Click Here to watch a round table discussion on this topic of keeping the church simple.


Wayne Lunderby said…
Well said Matt! Too often in the church, programmes are equated with faith and busyness in the church is equated with discipleship. It isn't. Your excellent point ties in well with a book that I have just finished reading, "Church Unique". Let's simplify church!