I’m out of town this week for orientation for my new job, so I thought I’d do some posts ahead of time on why I’m such a big fan (and practitioner) of microchurches.
I’ve posted about discipleship and stewardship as reasons I’m such a big fan of microchurches. Today…
Reason #3: Simplicity
There’s a lot of talk about systems in churches (especially new churches) going on these days. If your church is traditionally structured (no matter what the vibe is), you must have good systems in place to get people through your church’s process. Many of you do the Northpoint “Living Room/Kitchen/Foyer” thing (our church had those at one time). Others of you do it differently. All I know is this–if you don’t have good systems, your church will struggle.
And yet, the best systems are still complex–even if we continually drill down on them to keep them as simple as possible. There must be an assimilation system–how to move people from your Sunday crowd into the community of your church (be it small groups, ministry teams, Sunday School, etc.). You’ve gotta have a small group system for getting people to deeper levels of maturity. Your Sunday services are the result of a system–there’s some rhyme or reason as to why you do what you do. The problem is this–are those systems tight, or are they leaking?
In contrast, the systems of microchurches are simple compared to traditionally structured churches (we still, however, must work to keep them that way). Here is the crux of our system at the church I planted: love God, love people, serve the world (it’s our DNA… another hot topic in church circles). In other words, if we’re intentionally living out the gospel all the time, some of the people we’re around everyday will be attracted to Jesus. If we’re intentional about involving them in the life of our community even before they make it to one of our “services”, they’ll eventually make it there. It all revolves around relationships.
Here’s an example from our church. One of our guys started a student church several months ago. Recently, a guy came to his church who is a devout atheist. The guy showed up because of his relationship to the church planter and one of his friends who was already a part of the church. He couldn’t make it to one of the student church gatherings, and the planter asked him to come along to one of my church’s gatherings. To the planter’s surprise, the guy came… and openly voiced his opinions about God and Christians. Our folks loved him, encouraged him, and refrained from judging him. He experienced the love of Jesus… and he came back last week, and plans to continue coming back. The system is simple–love God… which will lead you to love people and serve the world… and those that are curious, involve them in the life of the community, even before they come to a “service.” That way, they’re already assimilated. If we see church as a lifestyle instead of an event, then our systems will be simpler.
So, are the systems in your church simple or complex? Are they truly tight or do they have leaks? What has to happen for your church’s structure to be simplified? If it isn’t simple, it needs to be… and thus the last reason I’ll post about for why I’m a fan of microchurches, which you’ll have to come back tomorrow to see. In the meantime, leave some feedback about your systems.