Three Consequences of a Busy Church Calendar

Adrian Rogers is quoted with the pithy statement, “If Satan cannot make you bad, he will make you busy.” There is much wisdom in the statement, as cluttered lives are typically not Christ-centered lives. The Lord encourages us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). According to the Lord, there is a connection between being still and knowing Him. When we are continually busy, when we are always grinding out work, our awareness and awe for Him decreases.

Many church leaders have wisely encouraged people to slow down, not to sign up for every sport, and not to commit to every extracurricular activity. Ironically, and painfully so, is that many churches don’t follow their own counsel. So while many church leaders have bemoaned the busyness in their communities, they have failed to bemoan the busyness in their churches. Here are three major consequences of a busy church:

1. Families are pulled in many directions.

A busy church calendar inevitably pulls families in multiple directions. While preaching and advocating family dinners and family devotions, a busy church calendar can make living these out and attending all that is listed in the bulletin impossible.

2. Church people only know church people.

A busy church helps church people know more and more church people and systematically removes them from the broader community. In a busy church, people are removed from living as salt and light among people who don’t know the Lord.

3. Pastors become program managers.

In a busy church, pastors are asked to neglect equipping the body in exchange for running programs. In a busy church, equipping is replaced with entertaining through program after program.

Perhaps Adrian Rogers’s statement should be applied to the local church too. Church: If Satan cannot make you bad, he will make you busy.

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Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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What say you? Leave a comment!

Jon Breshears — 11/24/16 9:19 am

After 47 years of ministry experience, I found this easy to agree with, and very hard to live by. All sorts of pressure applied. Eric Gieger's "Simple Church" was a big help!

Oree McKenzie — 11/15/16 5:55 am

Interesting and worthy of note. Thank you.

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— Mr. Troy Reynolds
I just discovered this today and am looking forward to exploring the content on here. It looks like it could be very helpful. Just an FYI - in your paragraph on not putting out B+ material you have a typo. A little ironic. :-) The third sentence begins with "You time" not "Your time."
— Troy Reynolds
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!

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