Thom Rainer publishes yet another helpful numbered list.
This one provides some observations about the problems that arise when a church becomes activity-driven instead of ministry driven.
Which is to say: what happens when the church becomes slaves to maintaining their activity program instead of focussing their activities on their central mission and ministry.
See if any of these sound familiar:
- Activity is not biblical purpose. Certainly some activities can move a congregation toward fulfilling her biblical purposes. But busyness per se should not be a goal of a healthy congregation.
- Busyness can take us away from connecting with other believers and non-believers. It is sadly ironic that local churches are often a primary reason we do not connect on a regular basis with people in our community and in the world. We are too busy “doing church.”
- An activity-driven church often is not strategic in its ministries. Leaders do not think about what is best; they often just think about what is next on the activity list.
- A congregation that is too busy can hurt families. Sadly, some church members are so busy with their churches that they neglect their families. Our churches should be about strengthening families, not pulling them apart.
- An activity-driven church often has no presence in the community. Christians should be Christ’s presence in the communities their churches serve. Some Christians are just too busy doing church activities to have an incarnational presence in the community.
- Activity-driven churches tend to have “siloed” ministries. So the student ministry plans activities that conflict with the children’s ministries that conflict with the senior adult ministries, and so on. Instead of all the ministries and activities working together for a strategic purpose, they tend to work only for their particular areas.
- Churches that focus on activities tend to practice poor stewardship. Many of the activities are not necessary. Some are redundant. Others are sacred cows. Ministry effectiveness can often be enhanced with less instead of more.