If you are a member of our church and someone were to ask you, “Why do we do things the way we do them?” how would you answer?
I know that’s a vague question so I don’t blame you if you have a vague idea of how you would answer it. So let me be more specific. “Why don’t we have tons and tons of organized ministries for our church family?” How would you answer that question? Or here’s another: “Why don’t we have a heavy emphasis on kids’ programs?” How would you answer that question? Or how about this: “Why don’t our teenagers have more activities?” Can you think of an answer?
Now, we do have some kids’ programs and our teens do have occasional activities. We even have some select ministries for the adults of our church. But why don’t we have more? Most churches, if they really have a mind to grow numerically, think that the way to get more people to church is to offer more activities. And to be honest, we could probably grow our church much bigger than it is if we took this direction.
But why don’t we?
I will give a brief, two-part answer to all of those questions.
First, we don’t do all those things because, I’m convinced, in the long run it does more harm than good. It builds a bigger church but fewer disciples of Christ. Fewer people are conformed to the image of Christ if our leadership (especially our pastors!) spends the majority of their time organizing activities. And I, for one, have very little interest in spending my brief stint on this earth investing in a good thing (our church) in the wrong way (doing lots of fun but unnecessary stuff).
Second, the reason I keep on insisting that each of us stay focused on the great task of being “disciple-making-disciples” that Jesus has commanded us all from the very inception of his church is because in long run, that does the most good. Both for the glory of God and for the good of his people.
Now, you might be wondering, “OK. But what does THAT look like?” Fair question, and a necessary one. If it doesn’t look like the “activity-heavy-program-laden” church, then what does it look like? Enter a book I’ve recently read entitled Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life by Jeff Vanderstelt.
In short, the most effective way to be a disciple-maker is by being actively involved in the lives of those whom you are trying to reach in day-to-day events. READ THIS BOOK! It is compelling, enlightening, and heart-warming. It gives hope. From understanding the Gospel better to living it out better, this book will give you ideas and desires about discipleship that you’ve probably not otherwise had.
So if you are still wondering how to answer those questions I asked earlier, take a few hours and read Saturate. If you have a heart for discipleship, your heart will be blessed.