While dining out recently, I was disappointed that my favorite entree was no longer on the menu. I’ve noticed that many restaurants have taken a simpler approach to offering the most popular items and eliminating the less profitable items from the menu. I don’t believe that this trend of reducing the size of a menu is limited to just restaurants. In fact, it can also be true for the local church.
Due to fewer volunteers, limited funding, and the absence of some church members returning to in-person services, the church is being forced to take a simpler approach to ministry. As church leaders we are needing to ask the difficult questions of which ministries should we restart, what resources are available, and who are our volunteers?
Returning with a simpler approach to ministry may not be a bad thing for the church! Jesus called it pruning; cutting off the branches that doesn’t produce, and pruning the branches that do so that they will bear more fruit. As new ideas emerge, it may be time to cut away dead limbs and focus only on ministries that are fruitful to the overall ministry.
We are seeing this in LifePoint Ministries churches. I’m impressed with the creativity of our pastors and church leaders as they are replacing some ministry programs with other ministry opportunities. The results are more salvation experiences and numerical growth for the local church.
As we continue to emerge, removing the old and moving forward, I believe we will continue to see new life produced in LifePoint Ministries.
Elbert Hubbard said this, “Art is a process of elimination. The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed.”
Pastors and church leaders are we willing to reduce the number of ministries or programs offered and invest more of our resources where it is most effective? The days of smorgasbord ministry, where a church is offering a diversity of ministries, seems to be on hold and may be over. Church leaders are realizing that bigger is not always better, and that God often delivers great results in small packages. Thom Rainer says, “The over-committed church has become the ineffective church.”
What are the strengths of your ministry? What are the weaknesses? Are there ministries that no longer need to exist? How can you and your ministry serve the body of Christ best?
I’m not for sure what the church will look like in the future, but for now let’s simply be the church together!
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function.” Romans 12:4