the weblog of Alan Knox

Church busyness

Posted by on Jan 7, 2008 in blog links, discipleship | 8 comments

Thanks to Bob Hyatt at “bob.blog” for this quote:

We simply haven’t taken time. We’ve not been still long enough, often enough, to know ourselves, our friends, our family. Our God. Indeed, the worst hallucination busyness conjures is the conviction that I am God. All depends on me. How will the right things happen at the right time if I’m not pushing and pulling and watching and worrying? – Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God

I’ve been thinking about busyness lately. I haven’t met many people who have deceived themselves into thinking “I am God” because of their busyness. However, I have seen some results of busyness, especially when that busyness ends. What results? A failure to consider the person’s relationship with God.

Within society, work, entertainment, and other forms of busyness keep people from considering God or their relationship with God. But, what about within the church? Could church busyness allow people to feel they are doing good things for God while at the same time they are growing distant from him? I think so. And, I’ve seen what happens when “church busyness” is gone.

What happens when the church stops offering Bible studies, visitation, children’s programs, youth nights, etc. every night of the week? Well, some people replace these church activities with other types of activities and entertainment. But, others realize that they want to relate to God with their extra time. This is when some realize that they have not been relating to God at all, or if they have been relating to God, it has only been at a surface level. Feelings of bitterness, anger, apathy, or sadness that have been lurking below the surface for years finally have the chance to present themselves. People then have the opportunity to deal with these issues that have been hindering their relationship with God.

But, dealing with these issues is not easy. The person’s attention turns from “church busyness” and the Spirit is able to bring these issues to light. But, dealing with these issues is another matter. Some try to hide them; some try to project them onto other people; but some actually deal with the issues. Occasionally, this means delving into parts of their lives that they thought were healed, but were actually only covered by layers of “busyness”.

Regardless of how the person deals with the issues, removal of “church busyness” actually allows them to deal with these issues and to begin to relate to God. However, as long as “church busyness” stays in the picture, people are able to feel that everything is right with God because they are doing so much for God, by doing things for the organization of the church.

So, while church leaders are busy promoting activities and programs in order to disciple people, they may actually be harming those who overdose on “church busyness” and do not deal with the real issues of their lives.


8 Comments

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  1. 1-8-2008

    I’ve heard someone say that activity is no subsitute for a relationship. I think if you’re involvoed in each and every single thing that most churches offer, you would never have to time relax and enjoy the family, friends, and ministry opportunities that God has given you.

  2. 1-8-2008

    Joe,

    Welcome to my blog, and thank you for the comment! It is much easier to get involved than to maintain a relationship. However, I’ve found that relationship is much more important, even if other people may look at me funny for not taking part in every activity.

    -Alan

  3. 1-8-2008

    Alan,

    I’m so pleased to see this post and will place it before others. This issue has been of great concern to me for years as I saw families, businesses, individuals, caused damage and suffering by leadership which continued, and still continues, to insist members attend every meeting, even suggesting folk are not Christians if they fail to attend.

  4. 1-8-2008

    John,

    For many years I encouraged and practiced participating in every possible activity. I can see that the practice had a negative effect on my relationships with my family, friends, and neighbors – the ones whom I should have served most.

    -Alan

  5. 1-8-2008

    Busyness or direction? I have searched for the Lord’s will by being busy and I have searched for the Lord’s will by searching he Scriptures. What I find the best is listening to the Lord’s still small voice as I meditate on Scripture.

    Thanks for the good post Alan,

    Scott

  6. 1-9-2008

    Scott,

    We do need time to stop and listen to God’s voice, don’t we? Sometimes we make oursevles so busy doing “good activities” that we miss the very best. Thanks for the comment!

    -Alan

  7. 2-17-2013

    Brilliant post. Thank you for this, Alan

  8. 2-17-2013

    Christopher,

    Thank you for reading and sharing!

    -Alan