On January 9th, we launched a brand new series on the book of Nehemiah called Building a City Within the City. Every church, organization or family has a list of seen and unseen things that guide decisions, what they value and how they function. Since we have so many new people at Revolution, I thought it would be good to share what guides us.
#3: We will stay simple.
When I was growing up, we were at church all morning on Sunday morning: Sunday school and then church. Back for choir practice Sunday afternoon, then church. Back Wednesday night, throw in some other ministries and you are living there.
A few years ago I was in a staff meeting at a church I just started working at. The Executive Pastor said with a smile, “If you wanted to, your family could be at our church 7 nights a week.” I asked, “Is that good?” You should have seen the glares I got. Apparently, I didn’t know what was “good.”
One of the things that has driven us is to be simple. At Revolution, we want to do a few things and we want to do them well. When we got started, we looked at what the Bible said a Christian was, what they did, what practices they were involved in and then set out to just do those things (worship, teaching, serving, community, reaching out).
Right now, here’s what we do:
- Worship gathering
- Small groups
- Kids ministry (Planet Rev)
- Student ministry (Rev Up)
- Missional Life Projects (outreach/serving)
One of the things we are doing to stay simple is with small groups. They run on semesters. There are 3, 12 week semesters each year, with a 4 week break in between. This is when we have sign ups for the upcoming semester. We also do most of our missional life projects in the context of small groups in place of having a “normal” small group time that week.
As you can see from the list above, there are a few less things than the church you grew up in. This is intentional. Does this mean the list will always be this small? Not necessarily, but we are not going to do something just because another church does it.
When a new idea comes up we ask: Will this help us reach our target (20 – 40 year old men), can we do it better than anyone else? If we can’t do it better and someone else is doing it, our stance is how can we support them and be a part of what they’re doing? The goal is not to grow Revolution, but to expand the kingdom of God in Tucson.
What is interesting about this is the only push back we get on this is from people with a churched background. Unchurched people don’t give push back to this idea. The conversations I have with people as to why we don’t do more are always interesting. I will say something like this, “This isn’t the only biblical way to do church, it is just the way we do church. It may not seem right, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t work.” By staying simple, we are able to help people grow, not kill themselves with church activities, and stay on mission. Because their calendar doesn’t revolve around church, you are able to build relationships with those who don’t know Jesus and live out the gospel in front of them and share it with them. If you are always with Christians at church, you aren’t able to do that.
I think this philosophy is one of the reasons God is blessing Revolution and moving the way he is.