Friday, July 18, 2008

Less is More

I just had a big "Aha!" moment yesterday (you will laugh at that if you've already done PowerLab).

Sometimes (just sometimes, really, it's not all the time), I get this idea that I'm supposed to do everything and to do it all excellently. I'm pretty smart so I don't know why I can't understand that doing everything is IMPOSSIBLE. Someday I'll get through my little head.

I visited with a children's ministry coordinator for a church 7 times as large as mine. Bigger is better, right?

Why is that? Why do we automatically think that a big church has it all together while smaller churches aren't doing things very efficiently? Is there any truth to that?

I have visions to improve our nursery, update our toddler Sunday school room and curriculum, decorate the children's wing in bright and wild colors, create sets, redo our entire organization, write a ministry vision, create a brochure, take photographs of children and put them everywhere.... and I'm out of breath just talking about it.

So, where is all of that in the Scripture? I'm not saying my ideas are bad, but maybe I need to rethink my purposes and God's command. Jesus called us to go into the world and preach the gospel, making disciples of the nations. I need to keep it simple stupid (KISS) if you know what I mean.

If redecorating helps me bring in more kids to tell about Jesus, then it fits in my purpose. If 3 new programs just end up being extra babysitting for kids midweek, am I fulfilling my God-given purpose?

I don't know why, but I felt compelled to share this with you today. I think we get so caught up in the trappings of doing stuff for God, that we forget WHY we're doing it in the first place. Yes, excellence is a good thing, but it's all about Jesus. I want people to know about this wonderful Jesus, who has changed my life. And I need to keep THAT my focus.


Tami Boesiger said...

Good point, Heather, and a good way to whittle away the things we shouldn't be doing.

Mel's World said...

You have NO IDEA how right on you are here Heather.

I ran the Preschool Ministry (4 campuses, 500+ kids from 12 weeks to 4 years old, and over 150+ volunteers) and when I first took on that position it completely consumed me (passion for ministry can do that to a person). What I have learned this side of the ministry experience is that yeah, all that stuff is good, but what the GREAT thing is is to keep the main thing the main thing, and that's God first. All the other stuff will happen, in time, but sometimes LESS really is MORE.

You go girl!

The Olson's: said...

Keeping Jesus your focus and bringing people to Him is the best "Aha" moment anyone could have! I love it when God gives us those moments!

Thanks for sharing,
~ Leanne

Mari said...

I've got an award for you...come see! This is the other "mommiemonk"

TAMI said...

I'm one of the pastors on staff at our small church and there's a constant evaluating of WHY we're doing this or that program/ministry. It's all too easy to feel like we have to "compete", but we DON'T!!

Found your blog today via Mari's award.

Ann Kroeker said...

We used to attend a large church (a megachurch, actually) that did a nice job with their program--all the bells and whistles certainly added visual interest and sensory stimulation for young learners. Learning about Jesus was lots of fun in that setting with limitless resources.

But my kids have learned far more theology and are retaining the stories from Scripture more soundly in the simpler setting in which we find ourselves today, a small church with few bells and no whistles.

I'm a little biased toward simplicity these days personally, because I see that my kids don't *need* bells and whistles to "get it." In fact, they seem to prefer the ease of connecting, listening and learning in the smaller setting.

When they grow up, I want them to know that following Jesus isn't a big fun-n-games adventure. It *is* an adventure, but more along the lines of Pilgrim's Progress than a weekend at Disneyland. Sometimes bells and whistles can be confusing and not necessarily the ideal set-up for life.

But I don't want to say that big is bad, that energetic and bright and colorful is bad, not at all.

Plus, the hearts of the small group leaders at both churches--big and small--were the same. They all wanted the kids to know God personally and accurately, follow Him intimately, and grow in their knowledge of Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

But we're happy without all the stuff.

That's just one mom's perspective (but one must take into account that I'm rather monkish in personality, and monks may be known for bells, but not bells-n-whistles in the hype kind of way).