Saturday, May 5, 2012

Church Can Be Less Expensive

I just spent a couple days at Funding the Missional Church with a diverse group of church folks ranging from large conventional congregations to bi-vocational church plants.  Funding is a problem all around.  A lot of the funding problem is rooted in the assumptions we bring to church life  Assumptions that come with big price tags:
  • The pastor must be full time.
  • The pastor must be an academically trained professional and paid as such.
  • You need excellent musicians.
  • You have to have a building. and so on.
I noticed one assumption however that seems to keep escaping notice, and yet is a huge factor is setting the "cost structure" for a faith community:

  • You have to gather the entire faith community for worship every week.

In my Lutheran Tribe, we like to talk (among the academically trained professional clergy, anyway) about the Freedom of a Christian. Well, what if we considered how we could serve the Kingdom if we explored the freedom we have from that fifth assumption?  Just as one example, what if the whole community gathered monthly on a Friday night, renting from an existing church, and home-sized groups gathered weekly, perhaps following the path described by Luther himself?  

Point is, church can be different, and it can be way less expensive.

Along these lines I am always glad to hear from my friends at Simple Church who are very big on keeping the Gospel as portable as possible.  So let me lift up a recent post from them on keeping things simple (which also tends to be less expensive) that begins with this wonderfully challenging quote from a Filipino church planter; "Never do anything in church that a one week old Christian would be unable to duplicate." 

Hyperbole?  Perhaps.  Worth reflecting on for people called to equip others?  Absolutely.

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