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Focus

Simple Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Focus: Saying "No" to almost everything

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Simple Church Definition

Simple Church Definition

A Simple Church is designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. The leadership and the church are clear about the process (clarity) and are committed to executing it. The process flows logically (movement) and is implemented in each area of the church (alignment). The church abandons everything that is not in the process (focus).

Introduction:

Research leads to truth. It brings clarity to thinking and forces recommendations based on objective facts rather than casual observation or anecdotal wisdom.
Super-Size Me is an independent documentary film by Morgan Spurlock. The film used research to support the idea that eating at fast food restaurants was detrimental to your health. You observe 30 days of the MacDondald’s driven life. Nothing in except McDonald’s.
Spurlock started the experiment at 185lbs. He did not stay that size but rather grew 25lbs in the one month span. His blood sugar skyrocketed. His liver filled with fat. His Cholesterol went off the charts, and his blood pressure was unmanageable.
The results are clear and confirm what we already knew, Fast food is not healthy. We the consumers are to blame for the expanding menus, serving sizes and waistlines.
We have just kept getting more and more unhealthy.
The 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.—Elbert Hubbard

Spiritual Super-Size Me

The same epidemic is happening in churches. As consumerism has increased in the local church so has the amount of options at church. We want all the benefits and we want it now!
New ideas lead to expansion, more special events. So the brochure, the week, the calendar, the schedule, and the process get expanded. . . CLUTTERED
Unfortunately the big expanded menus are not producing vibrant churches. The large fast food consumerism in church is actually killing it.
The appropriate response: Stay focused on your simple process: “Say no to everything else.” Move people to spiritual maturity.
Church Leaders have feelings. Saying no is difficult, after all most of them have the heart of a pastor. Saying no must also be done with wisdom and God’s timing, remembering that the people with whom we are dealing have feelings also.
Staying focused is essential to being simple, and a church cannot stay focused without saying no. While it is not easy, the health of the church is at stake. We must boycott fast-food spirituality.

One Thing

Psalm 27:4 AV 1873
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
Philippians 3:13–14 AV 1873
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13–14 AV 1873
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Phil.
Philippians 3:8 AV 1873
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
I Tim. 4:7-8
1 Timothy 4:7–8 AV 1873
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Hebrews 12:1 AV 1873
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1–2 AV 1873
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
As a church leader, you partner with God to build the lives of people. If God has given you a clear process for making and maturing disciples, you must focus on this one thing in your church. Then people can run the race without ankle weights.

Focus as a builder

Planning a building has phases. First you plan the building and then you plan the work. Then you align the resources and materials for that plan. You discipline yourself to work only with subcontractors who understand and are committed to the blueprints.
Then the problems and arguments ensue. But you stay focused and keep people focused.
Focus is the commitment to abandon everything that falls outside of the simple ministry process.
Eliminate
Going google—google went clutter free while yahoo and msn did not.
“we seek to eliminate programs that do not fit our process, even if they are good.” 46% -22%
Stewardship
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Limit adding
Reduce special events
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