Minimalist: a person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals or who holds minimal expectations for the success of the program.
The motivation for today’s post comes from a recent book I picked up at the local library while I sit at home, recouping from surgery. I love architecture, especially that of the 1960’s period pertaining to minialism found in the northwest, and the ever impressive Art Deco period found in the southeast Florida area of Miami Beach.
Question: As Christian leaders, do we take a minimalist approach to the effort put forth in our responsibilities as leaders, as well as how we lead in other arenas of life like relationships, finances, and time spent seeking God? Good question, hence the motivation.
It’s been explained with some respect that minimalism is based on the reduction of a particular object, down to its essential concept of space and size. Basically…no more…no less.
Being in and around the church world ninety percent of my life, I’ve had the opportunity to see varying degrees of how things are done, i.e., the look and feel of the aesthetics of the physical building itself, how the church functions from a business as well as a spiritual standpoint, and most importantly, how leadership controls the whole thing from the top down to the bottom.
I’ve had the opportunity to be apart of many different types, with varying degrees of leadership styles, and I will tell you this: “How the leadership goes, so goes the church!” Yes, that’s an exclaimation point. There’s organizations that do to much, controlled by angry, mean-spirited leaders, and there’s the lackadaisical bunch that’s just happy to come together. Still, some have the stoical attitude of mundaneness, or minimalism, that says “Let’s do just enough to get us by and out the door.” (I’m so glad the church I attend regularly is not like this. It’s full of life, life in abundance!)
Most of us that have been in leadership for some time, know that there is a direct connection between our attitudes and our will when it comes to leading. There lies the problem. We think everything is ok with our techniques and methodologies, and quite frankly, we do it good. If you don’t believe it, just ask us! With all kidding aside, this is a subject with severe consequences if we don’t attend to right away. Our team we lead, and the masses that follow are conforming to the normalcy that they see every week.
Going back to the original question, minimal time spent with God is the problem. I will be the first to admit to you that I do not spend the time I need in His presence. I don’t. If we as leaders don’t, how in the world will our team and those we lead get it? By our model? God forbid! We need to dig deeper into the Word, our prayer time, and devotion time, which is our vertical relationship with God. Also, our horizontal dimension of relationships among fellow believers need to be shored up as well. It’s time real modeling from men and women of God take place, not only in our churches, but in our homes, schools, and around our communities. Christians and minimalists are direct contradictions. It’s time to change.