There is an assumption that as your church grows, to keep growing you have to add more things. Do more.
Once you pass 200, add more programs so you can grow.
Recently someone told me, “Revolution needs to do more because _____ Church does _____ and they are bigger than you.”
It is an easy trap to fall into.
Starbucks tried it.
They sold coffee. Got big. Started doing breakfast sandwiches, which kind of worked but then the Howard Schultz took back over because Starbucks forgot who it was. Now they sell wine and food at some stores. The jury on that is still out.
I had another pastor tell me that when Revolution gets bigger I’ll have to rethink our position on not having a men’s and women’s ministry.
Because when you grow, you have to do more.
So the thinking goes.
The problem with doing more is that it simply becomes more.
I lead a simple church. Which means, we don’t do a lot. It isn’t because we can’t, but because we choose not to.
Singles ministry, senior adult ministries, women’s ministries, classes, concerts, coffee shops, book clubs, knitting ministries, camping ministries, ministries to people who want more ministries. We just don’t.
For a few reasons:
1. It creates clarity. I believe one of the reasons people don’t get plugged into a church is because they aren’t sure which step to take. Is this class, that ministry, that program the next step? What if I take the wrong step? When people are paralyzed, they give up. When barriers are in place and things are unclear, they don’t take a step.
2. If people are at church, they aren’t on mission. Missional happens in daily life. It can and does happen at church, but we display God’s love to the world around when we’re in the world around us. If we are always in a class, at a church program, we aren’t rubbing shoulders with people who don’t know Jesus. Instead of starting a church softball league, join a softball league with a bunch of people who drink and swear and live the gospel in front of them.
3. Busyness is rarely positive. Laziness is not healthy or a good thing, but Americans have this idea that the busier I am, the more successful I’m being ore the more right I’m doing. We feel guilty if our calendar isn’t packed but when it is, we wish we were doing less. Church is the same way. Just because your church calendar is full does not mean you are moving the ball down the field, you might just be spinning your wheels and not accomplishing a lot.
4. The things you do communicate what matters. Everything your church does, no matter how small or big, no matter how much or how little communicates what matters most. If you do a lot, have 118 ministries for a church of 200 people (I knew of a church with this), you communicate what matters. Everything says to everyone, “This matters, this is our mission.” As a leader, you then need to be careful what you choose.