A simple church is a congregation designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. Many of our churches have become cluttered. So cluttered that people have a difficult time encountering the simple and powerful message of Christ. So cluttered that many people are busy doing church instead of being the church’ Thom S. Rainer- Simple Church
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
When I arrived at Brightwood two years ago, I was welcomed with open arms. And, although I was excited about this wonderful church, I wasn’t in any hurry to start a lot of programming. I wanted to get to know the people, the church culture, and our neighborhood.
People are busier than ever these days. As a working mother of two, I long to create a life of faith that isn’t seen as just one more thing to have to fit into an already busy schedule. I want people to have time to know their neighbors, love their children, and have long and meaningful conversations with their friends. In the book, Simple Church, by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger, the authors discuss a broad study of growing congregations. Their conclusion is that healthy, vibrant, growing churches are simple and focused. They aren’t in the business of busyness but have designed themselves to help people grow in faith. Everything they do is centered around that work.
Our congregation is in the process of getting simple and focused. We met for a full day in June to talk about the importance of knowing with pinpoint accuracy who we are as a church and what we are called to do. On August 4th, we met again to continue that work. Out of that work, a mission statement was born: "Brightwood Christian Church is a welcoming community of Christians seeking to grow in faith and service."
At a brief congregational meeting this Sunday, September 9th, we’ll hear a bit about how we came to it, share what we’re doing about it, and ask members to affirm it. Then, if the statement is affirmed, I’ll preach about how the mission statement relates to the scripture throughout October and we’ll be frequently updating you on how the mission is being lived out in the work of the church. Until then, prayerfully consider how you might help Brightwood live out our mission.
To read more about the Simple Church concept, read it here:
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.
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