There is beautiful simplicity in the gospel. We have made it complicated.
SHRINKthechurch (Stc) exists to explore conversations about how the church uses financial, human and creative resources to communicate the simplicity of the gospel.
If we can’t laugh at ourselves then who will? Humor is often an important method to engage people in conversations with the hope that if we can make light of our observations inside church culture then we can break down barriers and remove sacred cows. We hope decision-makers within the church will rethink decisions thru new filters.
Stc is not suggesting that the big “C” church, as in the body of Christ, should literally be reduced in numbers, influence or purpose. We are not anti large churches. Rather, Stc is about reconnecting churches with culture, people, purpose and other churches thru creative use of communication, technology, assimilation, and simplicity.Stc advocates that thru these methods, and combined with open, honest discussion we can help large and growing churches:
- SHRINK grandioseness (i.e. become more personal)
- SHRINK budgets (i.e. optimize financial resources, and maximize dollars)
- SHRINK communication methods (i.e. combine the right message with the right tools to saturate the right demographic at the right time)
- SHRINK the web (i.e. using social media tools, effective content and simple usability and design methods for a more personal and engaging experience online)
- SHRINK assimilation (i.e. effectively close the back door as people begin to naturally connect, serve and immerse themselves in the local body)
Who is Stc for?
Stc hopes to serve as a resource, creative inspiration, sounding board and overall honest collaborative effort among leaders, decision-makers, communicators, creatives and social media advocates.
Stc is about Collaboration
Stc is a collaborative effort. We want our readers to have the freedom to share ideas, resources, methods, venting, and what they view to be effective solutions. This is not a couple of authors rewriting the book on everything – this is all of us together striving to make better use of what we have, know & love.
Thoughts from the Founders
I think large church culture is beginning a shift towards simplicity. This shift can only come too soon as large and growing churches continue to hemorrhage, burn out leaders & volunteers, communicate poorly and lose sight of their vision & purpose.
And if we are honest with ourselves, particularly with large and growing churches surrounded by other large and growing churches, we tend to compare, compete in underlying and passive ways, and create unhealthy, unnecessary tensions among local church bodies which can only limit our effectiveness not only in how we work together as one body but also how we make Kingdom decisions. Our decision filters can often become skewed towards numbers for the sake of numbers and made within a church bubble that may not have an accurate pulse to the surrounding culture.
We in the church can quickly become islands. There is a fine line we sometimes walk between selfish efforts and divine direction as we seek to grow our local influence with a global message. We quickly resort to becoming experts in everything regardless of our background and we lose touch with our culture. We speak Christianese and assume that everyone understands what we’re saying because we get it, and we’ve been doing it for so long.
Stc exists out of love for the church, its people and those who do not yet know Christ. We are your advocates and want to do what we can to reveal conflict between our flesh and the Great Commission. We want you to look thru a lens of beautiful simplicity. We want to laugh, think, celebrate, share and collaborate with you. We want this resource to evolve organically as you help it to grow.
We want to help you SHRINKthechurch.
Nick Asolas (follow Nick on Twitter)
I have spent the majority of the last decade of the my life working in churches of all sizes. I have felt the frustrations of being under-resourced at a small church and have endured the pressure that goes with mega-church work. No matter what size, shape, color, or denomination your church or non-profit comes in, we all are operating in an age where communication, media, and technology have come together in a way that can make our message huge. No longer are these things novelties, they are necessities for any successful organization.
Part of my hope with Stc is that it can become place where leaders and shapers from all settings can learn and share and help one another navigate the digital age. Too often, I have witnessed an unhealthy sense of competition between churches and even infighting between ministries within the same community. The Truth is, God loves the Church and is using the institution of the local church to mobilize it for His Kingdom. I believe a shift is happening, a revival if you will, where God is going to bring His people together to accomplish His mission like never seen before. The tools, ideas, opinions, and resources shared here are going to be equipment used for this revolution.
As big churches get bigger, they are going to look at the small churches and ask, “What are we missing that they have?” The community and relationships that define a small body of believers do not have to come at the price of growth and effectiveness. That is why I am excited about shrinking the church.