It’s time to discuss a more serious topic…
I’ve recently had a number of
one way discussions with a colleague of mine about the methods of other churches. He tends to only bring the methods of one specific church to the converstation, which is annoying, but I suppose I do the same thing with Elevation Church from time to time. The specific topic I’d like to bring up today is the idea of removing ministries from the church. I prefer to call these “mini-ministries” because to me the church itself is a ministry and these are more like sub-ministries (mini-ministries makes for a catchier post title).
The idea is that churches have too many activities, people are too busy and parents are too stressed by all of the logistics of figuring out when they need to get Johnny to choir practice and Susie to RA’s.
Do we have time to go home?
Should we make a quick run to Chick-Fil-A?
Oh wait… Chick-Fil-A is closed today.
Maybe we should just pack a lunch and eat it in the church parking lot. That way dad can listen to the Jags
lose play on the radio.
Remember Sunday afternoon naps? Neither do I.
No more mini-ministries? Sounds like a good idea to me! Let’s let church be church. Let’s simplify everything and focus on growing in our faith. Let’s focus on our relationship with Christ. Let’s not concern ourselves with getting to know the people we worship with. Let’s give our members the restful “sabbath” that they deserve. Let’s… wait a minute… What was that I just said? Let’s rewind.
How am I supposed to get to know the people I worship with if all we do together is worship?
But Kyle, we’re not talking about getting rid of things like Sunday School.
Aren’t we though? That’s what my colleague said. The church he mentioned did away with Sunday School and Bible Studies all together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of “Sunday School”, I’d much rather have an intimate home gathering with a handful of people/couples my age than being in a class with people that are in denial of their age and refuse to graduate.
Well then, let’s say we add Bible Studies back into the mix (on Sunday morning, or whenever). Does the line stop there? Do we allow them to hold special activities at the church? A football party here, a scrap booking class there… what could it hurt?
What’s that you said? You want to meet monthly to work on your prayer quilts? And you want to invite all of the women from the church? Well… ok… I guess that’s alright.
Say it with me everyone!
M – I – N – I – M – I – N – I – S – T – R – Y
What’s that spell? MINI-MINISTRY!!!! (Please forgive me, I’m writing this during an Upward Cheerleading Award Night Rehearsal… talk about irony)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for simplifying the way we do church. I believe if we would do two things, our problems could be solved without going to this extreme.
1) Don’t do more than your church can handle. Specifically, if you don’t have the volunteers for it, don’t do it!
2) Don’t portray everything as a “must attend” event.
At a previous job my main task was adding medications to a pharmaceutical system (I know, you’re jealous). Our medical reps would email me with requests for meds they needed added to the system. As we added more physicians, our medication list grew exponentially and it was increasingly difficult to keep up with. At one point it got so bad that the president of the company asked me if it would help to have the reps specify when a medication addition was “urgent”. To which I replied, “No, that won’t help because then every request they make would become ‘urgent’.”
That’s our problem, we make everything we do an urgent matter. I personally love my church’s approach to Wednesday nights. We give our members choices, and we encourage them to choose one. We offer Bible studies for Men and Women, Prayer Meeting, Visitation, a Student Worship service and Children’s Choirs.
So what’s your stance? Is your church (or churches in general) doing too much? Too little? Just the right amount? Maybe the problem isn’t that the church is doing too much, but that the same people are exhausting themselves by going to everything they possibly can to show their support, when if they would just attend a comfortable amount of events the powers-that-be might catch a hint or two.