I'm reading a book by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger called "Simple Church." It's really gotten me to thinking. The gist of the book is that churches need to simply their ministries in order to effectively do what God has called us to do. Our job? Simple, make disciples.
How are measuring up to this task at FBC Swartz? To be honest, we could do a lot better. A disciple is someone who walks in the footsteps of Christ. Discipleship means to live a life of obedience and devotion to the Lord. However, all the stuff we do at church has a tendency to get in the way of simply being disciples and developing disciples. Honestly, I'm afraid we create workaholic Christians. People who are so busy serving on committees and attending events that actually growing in grace and sharing Jesus with others gets put on the back burner. Numbers, buildings, and budgets get the lion shares of our efforts, when Christ is much more concerned with the quality of the people we are building.
As pastor I'm guilty of getting my priorities out of wack. I find I have little time to develop relationships with lost people in order to share Christ with them. I have spent too much time in meetings and planning the next event to spend quality time discipling myself, my family, and the church that God has charged me with. Having said all that, I find that my burden for discipling people is increasing every day as I study the Word, prepare messages for God's people and pray.
So what do we do? We have to clarify our mission. Get it in our minds that we are here to develop devoted disciples, and then get on with the business of simply doing it. My next few posts are going to center on the Lord's call to discipleship, what a disciple looks like, and how we as a Church are to develop people into fully devoted followers of Christ. This won't solve everything, but it will make for a good start in simplifying in order to be obedient.