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Simple living in the local congregation

What is one decision that your church, as a community, has made that supports the BIC commitment to living simply? Danny Tanner Pathway Community Church (York, Pa.)

At Pathway Community Church, we've been offering Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University for at least five years. This course has opened the eyes of so many families to understand what God's word has to say about debt and giving. Person- ally, my wife and I have been taking steps over the years to get out of debt because we don’t want to be a slave to anyone but Christ. We can’t wait to be freed up to give and serve in greater ways.

Jeff Piepho Revolution BIC (Salina, Kans.)

At Revolution, we did a five-week series called “The Simpler Life.” Among other things, we discovered that God wants us to enjoy the process of working, and not to just accomplish some- thing. It is not enough to say, “I finished my work.” We should instead say, “I enjoyed the process of working.” We want to see people come to church and give their lives to God, but what if we enjoyed the process of telling people about Jesus? This can help us simplify because we aren’t necessarily looking for the big- gest, most complicated, or fastest solution. Rather, we are able to enjoy what our Creator is doing through us whatever we do.

Dan Houck The Table Community Church (Lampeter, Pa.)

We have tried to maximize our resources (in terms of both people and money) so that we are making the main thing, the main thing. We have cut back on our advertising budget considerably, relying primarily on our people to talk to their friends one-on-one. We also use Constant Contact, an email marketing program that costs us $25 per month.

We are constantly thinking about how we can plan events that are highly relational and at a low cost. Coffeehouse events with local volunteer artists, church picnics, VBS in a park, and chili cook-offs are ways that we have fun, meet new people, and do church more simply. I like to think of it as more organic.

Environmentally, we collect plastic grocery bags and egg cartons and donate them to a homeless shelter, which reuses them in its food bank. We also recycle cans and plastic water bottles.

This article originally appeared in the summer 2011 issue of In Part magazine.

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