Having nearly finished reading Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger I am confronted with the question: Is Berean doing too many things? Over and over again the authors present statistical proof that vibrant churches are doing less NOT more.
They use lots of illustrations to try and communicate their point—Google is presented as a shiny example of how simple is better. (By the way Jon, I wonder how a bbcfnc.org would look with a Google format.) The simplicity of an Ipod is another example they present.
I know in my heart we are doing too much but how do you change. Everyone has such a vested interest in their piece of the pie and tradition is strong in Berean.
For example, I know it would be better to combine our Thursday night FAITH evangelism into our Wednesday night service, but how about those who think the Apostle Paul started the three services a week plan 2000 years ago. What will their reaction be? No preacher wants to lose a member over such a thing yet can anyone really lead an organization based on fear of losing members or participants.
I know it would be effective. I know more people could be involved. I know it would serve as a means of combining discipleship and outreach into the same night and give back a night to families who desperately need time. I know we would find more people home. In the past, anytime we hosted a meal before the service it was always a big success. I wonder could we start each Wednesday out with a low cost meal so that families would not have to rush home to eat or leave the house a mess to get to church in time. I wonder would we be more effective if more effort was directed to discipleship. What if FAITH teams visited the same people over and over again until they grew spiritually or were told never come back? I wonder what if we brought the Bible study to those who will not come to the Bible study. Again I am serious. What if my Wednesday night service/ministry was meeting with someone at their home week after week for personal discipleship until they were connected and growing. Is it reasonable to consider the idea that I would eat dinner at the church, drop off my son to AWANAs and then head directly to a particular home for a 30 minute devotion/Bible study/discipleship time?
And surely most who now participate in FAITH would enjoy having Thursday nights off. Imagine a single adult at Berean, on Tuesdays they go to a Bible study at church, on Wednesdays they work AWANA or go to the main service, on Thursdays they participate in FAITH and on Fridays they go to RU. Somehow they are expected to work in a date night so they don’t stay single their entire life. No seriously—are we doing too much.
Let’s make sure we define success the same way. Success is not seeing/hearing someone profess Christ through a prayer. Success according to Christ is making disciples who are reproducing themselves. So if I led two people to the Lord each year and spent the rest of the time discipling them would that be success. I think the answer is an unequivocal—Yes.
What do you think?