“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Over the last half-century, the word “simple” has taken on a negative connotation. “Not advanced enough.” “Too basic.” “Lacking in depth.”
I, on the other hand, like simple. I admire it. I respect it. “K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid” is a constant acronym I remind myself of.
The best advice I ever received about preaching had to do with “simple”. I was told to “keep it simple – put everything on the bottom shelf where everyone could reach it.”
I believe that sometimes a church over-extends itself when the best thing would have been for them to keep it “simple.” There was a time when churches would brag about how many services and ministries and programs they had.
Over time, however, studies have shown that it’s not the churches that offer twenty-four hour a day “stuff” that have the greatest impact. They may have the greatest numbers and budgets, but there’s so much going on that the people and resources are stretched too thin.
The churches that have the most kingdom impact are the ones that have one mission – the Great Commission – and they only do a few things to achieve that mission. But they do those few things well. Very well. Everything has more clarity, more alignment, and more focus because everyone is on board and working together to meet the bottom-line mission of the church. (Not the budget bottom-line, the mission bottom-line.)
If a program or ministry doesn’t move the church closer to the mission, we need to ask ourselves, “Why are we doing this?” In this instance complex doesn’t mean better, simple does. This is true for small community churches, mid-size congregations, and mega-churches. I know of examples in all three categories of both over-extended churches with many programs, and simple mission-based churches with just a few well-honed but effective ministries.
We need to cut back on things that don’t push the mission of the church forward. What areas of our ministry are not effective? What projects are holding us back and siphoning resources? As we begin to “come out” of the pandemic world, now would be a perfect time for us to trim those things away so that we can focus our effort and energy on the aspects of our ministry that push us closer to our mission.
‘Father keep our eyes on the prize of the making disciples of all nations and baptizing in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name,AMEN.”