One problem that many Churches fall into is trying to have too many programs. We want to have programs for every holiday and season along with every age group. There are two side effects that happen when a Church tries to over-program.
First, volunteers are worn out. Volunteers are giving time to the Church over and over again. Sometimes this group is only 20% of the total Church attendance. If that is true then every new program drains the people in this group of servants.
Second, you can wear people out for no reason. I firmly believe that the Church is not here to provide wonderful programs for every age and holiday. The Church is here to take people who are not believers and help transform them into fully devoted followers of Jesus. The end goal is not activity but transformation. Unfortunately many Church have for more activity than they have discipleship. People run from this program to that program and never really grow in their faith.
As a result of seeing these two problems I have encouraged people to think of Church in more simple terms. To grow as a believer there are only a few simple things I want each person to do.
1. Worship Regularly – I believe each person needs to worship in a community of believers on a regular basis. I would love for this to be weekly, but some people are required to serve during worship once a month so they cannot be in worship. I do think that the more you worship the greater possibility of growth.
2. Connect Regularly – Each person needs to be a part of something that helps them to connect with other believers. This could be Sunday school or a small group. It can be as simple as meeting with a couple other believers over coffee on a weekly basis. Do something that will allow you to fellowship on a deeper level with a few other followers of Jesus.
3. Serve Regularly – Everyone in the Church needs to use whatever gift God has given them to share the grace of God in some way. I would love to see everyone serve in some way once a week, but for many people twice a month is more realistic. Serving will stretch each person in their faith as they serve while blessing other people in the name of Jesus.
4. Give Regularly – The Bible talks more about money that almost any other topic. I think the cross and the love of God are the biggest subjects that the Bible addresses with money coming in third. I think this happens for a very practical reason. One of the biggest obstacles between man and his relationship with God through Jesus Christ is money. Giving, whether it be monthly or weekly, frees the grip money has on our hearts and teaches us to rely on God. Giving is an enormous step in our path to growth in Jesus.
Growing in Jesus is not a commitment to attend Church functions every time the doors are open. It is a commitment to doing a few simple actions over and over. This may sound easy but I promise you it will take the rest of your life to understand it.