Busyness

DOES BUSY CHURCH = HEALTHY CHURCH?

 

When a pastor or church member looks at their church’s calendar when it is full of events, the response is usually one of satisfaction.

However, there are good reasons to exchange that perspective for one of concern.

The reason we like to see a full schedule is because we think it declares fruitfulness is taking place. And perhaps that is true. But most likely the idea of fruitfulness through busyness is only partially true.

I have been a pastor for almost 35 years, and I have discovered that when pressed to identify the fruit in our programs, sometimes the results are surprisingly slim. This has nothing to do with the sincere intentions and faithful hard work of those involved in them.

There have been times when a program that many would consider to be a showcase of good work was in fact producing virtually no identifiable fruit.

The answer is not to trash all programs, but we should carefully examine their usefulness.

The knee jerk reaction by people tends to be that attempts to significantly reduce programs is a step backward from fruitful ministry.

But the opposite truth is the motivation for trimming the programming in our churches. It is because we do want to be fruitful, that we don’t want to fool ourselves into thinking we are being effective because we are being busy. The importance of gospel ministry is too precious to merely think we are being effective.

The ministry goal that Jesus has given us is to be making disciples. This involves having people come to faith in Christ and having them mature so that they become part of the disciple-making process.

This requires a certain amount of programming in and by the church, but it also requires freedom to be involved in disciple-making in our homes and communities.

When we free up the church calendar AND empower church members to be disciple-makers, fruitful ministry expands.

The topic of church schedule and programming is not a minor concern, the health of gospel ministry is partially at stake.

Jared Wilson serves the church well with this article, “10 Reasons Why You Should Underprogram Your Church”. A careful reading of Jared’s points reveals the value of giving this matter serious consideration.

It can be hard for a church to strike a perfect balance, but we can become more careful and intentional about busyness in the church just as much as we should be concerning busyness in our personal lives.

 

CRAZY BUSY

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One of the most common problems in our culture is the sense of busyness. The unyielding pressure of never catching up and never feeling as though we are fulfilling the things we should be accomplishing.

Adding to this condition is that technology is allowing us to access more opportunities than ever before.

Does God really expect us to always feel overwhelmed and to routinely go through seasons of burn out?  And if God has a better way, are we convinced that He can help us take and master the better way?

Pastor, speaker, author and very busy guy Kevin DeYoung, has addressed these issue which burden him in his new book “Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About A (Really) Big Problem”.

God wants life to be meaningful and well used, but that doesn’t mean He expects us to be broken down by the weight of all there is to do. The answer, not surprisingly, starts with a fresh look at God and ourselves.

I hope you will consider giving some of your precious time to reading a book on using time better.