The Minimums

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
churchpew1.jpgThey are sitting in our pews on Sunday mornings, participating in worship to varying degrees. They have likely arrived late or at the last second. When the service is over, they will leave immediately, speaking to as few people as possible. Accordingly, very few people in the congregation know them. By choice, they are largely invisible.
They are an intriguing group that needs a connection to the congregation. Yet, many are not looking for one. They compromise a special group of people known as the Minimums.
The Minimums are people who, whether consciously or subconsciously, have decided that there is a level in the Christian life, at which God will be pleased and will have to save them. They think they have attained that level and do not wish to move any further. Why would they? Is salvation not enough?
To the Minimums, there are different levels of Christians. Some are super-motivated to do more for the Lord. They want to attend all the worship services of the Church because they are grateful for what God has done for them. They even feel the urge to attend Bible Class, Gospel Meetings and Seminars, for some strange reason. The Motivated are just Type A personalities who can’t sit still.
They just wish the Motivated would stop pestering them about becoming one of them! They already have salvation, so why should they miss their favorite program on television? They did not need a guilt trip from some Bible verses. Everyone has his or her own truth anyway.
The Minimums understand true Christianity. Jesus wanted them to believe in him, have their sins washed away and live a moral life, and that was all. He did not want them to be nerds or super-Christians who never had any fun.
Their social status was very important and some Christianity gave them some respectability. However, their friends did not want them to become Bible-thumpers.
The Motivated always talked about God’s grace and that salvation only came because of Christ, not because of their efforts. They had to have a Savior who would wash away their sins. His blood would justify them so they could have access to God.
The Motivated even think that when they become Christians must change their lives so they will glorify Christ in everything. They are always badgering the Minimums about their language and clothing, as if that mattered to God. They were in worship weren’t they? No need to get carried away.
The Minimums felt fine with what they were doing. One hour a week of religion was enough for anybody. After all, they took communion and gave a dollar or two. What more could they ask of them?
The Minimums know that avoiding hell is what the Christian life is all about. If the Motivated wanted to go on about how striving for heaven was more important than simply trying not to go to hell, that was fine. They can shake their heads and be polite.
The Minimums did not need a Church family. They already have friends. Let the loners find a family. They just had to satisfy God for the week so they can get back to their lives.
The Motivated can have the rest because they, well, might be fanatics. Who needed that?

4 Replies to “The Minimums”

  1. Please keep up the good work, sir. This is another fine article. Minimums have probably take this approach to most things in life. PM

  2. Just don’t mistake someone who is new(er) to the congregations or socially backward for a “minimum.” Whether a congregation is large or small, it can be hard to figure out where one fits in, and hard to feel comfortable with people, particularly if one has not grown up in the church, is new to the community or the congregation, etc. And some people just need time to adjust and figure things out. You would think that adults would be able to forget themselves and just jump in, but that’s not always the case. I would not dismiss people as “minimums,” but always encourage them to find way to get involved in the work.

  3. I really appreciate this article. Its all about attitude and moving past the “have to” attitude to the “get to” attitude.

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