Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Busy For Jesus (Values & Practices concluded--Part 15)

Some churches schedule so many events throughout the week to talk about being Christians that their members don't have much time leftover to apply those ideas. This is especially true for families with children. After they go to work, church events (for both adults and kids), try to spend quality time together as a family, care for the house and car and yard…there's hardly any time left to sleep, let alone be salt & light in the world.

It's like the mission of those churches degenerated into "more and better meetings for Christ". Being busy for Jesus isn’t necessarily good. God doesn’t always want us to do more for Him.

So we try to keep a Simple Schedule—the last defining practice listed in the values & practices of a member-driven church.

We meet on Sunday afternoons for three hours.  The first hour is the meal, followed by two hours of ministry (either bible study or open ministry). The rest of the week, members have the time to invest in their own families, be in community with each other, spend time seeking God's voice, find a way to be salt & light in the world, and just rest and enjoy God's presence.

Members aren't prohibited from getting together or from using our church building to do so. We have had bible studies and food distribution ministries and prayer groups during the week. But they're all member-driven gatherings, not staff-mandated. If some of members are called to do that for a season, they can. But there’s no expectation or pressure from the leaders of the church to attend those meetings. We don’t even make regular announcements about them on Sunday (though we don’t mind talking about them if necessary).

Think about Mary and Martha, sisters and disciples of Jesus. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus rebuked Martha (not Mary) for being too busy working on tasks for God. So many churches are pushing their people to become Martha-style disciples: busy, busy , busy for the kingdom of God.

Are you more like Martha or Mary? 

In the end, we don't measure spiritual maturity by the number of meetings our members attend. How is your church measuring spiritual maturity? How are you evaluating your own maturity?

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