Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Simple Church

In our faith community, one of our core values is simplicity. Our value is that we live simply in order that we can wisely and extravagantly exercise generosity toward the economically poor in our community, our neighborhood and our world. The question is often posed in our groups, “How do you practice simplicity and fight against materialism in your family?” but I think churches need to ask this question as well.

What would a church that practiced simplicity look like?
What would a simple church look like?

Let’s say your church just starting and defining itself and is meeting as a small group. Is the vision of the church to live simply and practice generosity or is the vision materialistic? Is the goal to “buy a building” and then to make additions? That is how the world thinks as families and when we practice simplicity in order to be generous, we reject the “re-model” mentality? When we seek simplicity as a family, we whittle our budgets down to as little as possible. In the church, if we are able to start from scratch, we can plan a church with virtually no overhead.

What if the church had no building and no staff and yet had 100 tithing families?

Our time like our money was only spent on actually doing evangelism and discipleship. How would we then practice simplicity and generosity? The church will in this scenario have no overhead or at least very little. Easily 75% of the budget would go to missions work and community development.

Funds can be gathered for missions projects and not building projects. That 4 million dollar building project now becomes a four million dollar development project in the inner city or in a third world rural village. We are now doing the stuff and have escaped the trappings of the American Dream on the corporate level.

Here is the practice of simplicity as a corporate community. Here is the simple church of the 21st century.
Tags:; ;;;

No comments: