One of the key books in my spiritual growth has been Richard Foster’s class book, Celebration of Discipline. The detailed treatment of 10 classic spiritual disciplines including the reasons for them and some practical ideas how you can implement them into your life. He has since gone on to write more in depth on each topic in separate books and one of the most interesting of these (at least personally) is the discipline of simplicity found in Celebration of Discipline and Freedom of Simplicity.
Richard lays out 10 principles of simplistic living which I have tried (to different amounts) to implement in my own life. However, I thought these could be useful guides for your church with regard to church tech as well.
Here they are:
10 Principles of Church Purchases
- Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
- Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
- Develop a habit of giving things away.
- Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
- Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
- Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
- Look with a healthy skepticism at all “buy now, pay later” schemes.
- Obey Jesus’ instructions about plain, honest speech.
- Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
- Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the Kingdom of God.
On the whole, there are some very obvious tips to consider when buying things for the church such as points 1, 4, 5 and 7. But the other points are valid for church purchases, too. After all, if you pick up things for your church which produce addictions in you and your church members, you aren’t helping them to live in God’s freedom. Or if you try to convince the church finance department to back your purchase of an item using complicated language, you’re either buying into the marketing hype or intentionally obfuscating the situation to manipulate your way through.
What do you think about Richard Foster’s guidelines for simplistic living?
Do you think these principles are good? Are you considering them when you make personal or church purchases?