Friday, September 19, 2008

Simply Put: It's Time to Ask Why

Today I had the privilege of attending a Simple Church Conference with Eric Geiger. He is a gifted man of God that is real enough to be honest, smart enough to ask questions, bold enough to make tough changes, and intelligent enough to disciple through a clear process. To see notes from the conference, click here.

Process was the key word for the day. What is the process your church has for making disciples? What do you want them to look like? What kind of disciples do you want to produce? Great questions that all lead to a church being intentional in the disciple-making process, as opposed to accidental or nothing at all.

Within the framework of these questions there are many additional thoughts. If our desire as ministers is to build Christ-followers who live obediently, we must also ask the question, “how do our activities to programs move people in that direction?” Eric suggested that our mission statement needs to resemble or actually be our disciple-making process, which creates a simplistic formula for success.

While these questions and ideas are simple, they are not easy to make. For instance, the problem with programs is that some of them exist simply as an end unto themselves and not as means to a greater end. Some of the programs and functions within a church are good. But as Jim Collins states, “Good is the enemy of best.” Another thing to consider is that each program comes with the vested interest of those who participate or facilitate or run those programs. Most everyone will be in favor of simplifying a church schedule or program for intentional and focused disciple-making, that is until the simplification process means removing their program from the church!

But what is the best thing to do? Is it best to appease people and keep with the way we have always done it? Of course not! Is it best to keep with tradition? No chance! Is it best to not challenge people? Uh-uh, it is best to challenge the comfortable!

All of this is leading me to ask why. Why do we have the current programs we do at our church? Why does our schedule look the way it looks? Why! It is my hope that we can be great at knowing Christ and making Him known. It is my hope that we can help our church family know Christ and make Him known. It is my desire to do everything possible to make this as simple for each member of our church as possible. Please pray for me and our staff as we ask why!

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