There are many hardships to be encountered in a new Church Plant. But there are also many blessings.
One of these blessings is getting to see what ‘Church’ looks like stripped down of all of its non-essentials. We are left only with what is essential for ministry. These essentials are; the Gospel, fellowship in the Gospel, proclamation of the Gospel, singing about the Gospel, spreading the Gospel, and eventually showing the Gospel (through Baptism and Lord’s Supper). It’s very liberating to be able to come together and observe what the Lord has commanded us to observe.
There are so many things that get attached to ‘Church’ that either are not necessary, are not helpful, or even contrary to the Church’s mission. So one of the enemies that we are trying to guard against is ‘having stuff’ just because every other Church does it this way. I don’t know if everyone in what I hope will become our Church agrees with me on this, but the criteria that I am using in evaluating what needs we will have as Church are pretty simple.
1) Is this necessary? Is there some part of Gospel ministry that is being overlooked that this ministry will remedy?
2) Is this helpful? How will this help us minster to the members of the congregation and the community around us?
3) Does this take away from our Gospel ministry? Does this program or activity contradict our mission as stated in Scripture, divide the Church into separate factions, or pull the Elders/Pastors away from the ministry of the Word and prayer?
I think these are good questions to ask ourselves as we go forward.