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Simplifying your congregation’s mission by simplifying members’ lives

Simplifying your congregation’s mission by simplifying members’ lives

Writing for the Alban Institute, Bob Sitze says:

Most likely your denomination or association has restructured itself several times within its lifetime. The promise of restructuring is that a new way of doing (God’s) business will result in fresh approaches, new energy, and new identities. If you haven’t restructured in awhile, your congregation might also benefit from that kind of hopeful work.

I’m suggesting something a bit different, though: that you restructure with simple living as the core of your identity, activities, and mission.

It’s possible that much of your congregation’s mission is not easily understood by most congregation members. It may also be possible that, after years of structuring your congregation toward classic ministry outcomes, you’re still not gathering the attention, interest, or emotions of most congregation members. Only you know whether you’ve come to a point of utter weariness about the seeming futility of these efforts.

Sitze’s article is about the virtues of simple living, and how these might be applied to congregational living. While that is a worthy topic, what struck me is the notion that there might be large numbers of congregations out there that are largely unaware of their missions. What do you think?

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barbara snyder

I think you are right about that.

I love the idea of “simple living.” It’s a really excellent thing to have a single, clear “primary purpose” as the basis for everything you do. When there’s a question about some course of action, you can refer back to that One True Thing – the Pearl of Great Price? – and decide whether it works towards that “primary purpose” or instead gets in the way. If the latter: you can simply forget about it and move on. This makes everything so much easier and clearer – and, even better: it refreshes the mind and soul and heart to have the reminder, again, of your clear purpose. It’s really easy to forget and to over-complicate things.

It might be difficult for the church to find its single mission, out of which everything else grows – but I definitely think it’s worth thinking about.

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