Fast Food Menus and Church Ministry

There is an epidemic of fast-food spirituality among believers today. We like big spiritual menus with lots of options. And we want those options served to us fast.

Many churches have become like fast-food establishments. A new idea emerges, and the menu is expanded. Someone wants a special event served a particular way, and the menu is expanded. People assume the more that can be squeezed into the menu, the better. So the brochure, the week, the calendar, the schedule, and the process get expanded. Cluttered.

And we keep getting more and more unhealthy.

One would think that the more programs and the more special events that are offered, the greater the impact. Our research has confirmed that the opposite is true. Unfortunately, the big and expanding menus are not producing vibrant churches.

The conclusion: fast-food spirituality is not healthy. In fact, the large and fast menu approach to ministry is killing our churches.

The appropriate response: Stay focused on your church’s discipleship process. Don’t add to the menu.

If you follow the input  offered in Simple Church, you will begin designing a simple and clear discipleship process for your ministry. It will be designed to move people toward spiritual maturity. You will also align all of your people and your ministries around this process.

Then the hard part will begin, and it will never end. It will be ongoing for the rest of your ministry.


As we have said from the beginning, this factor is the most difficult to implement and practice. It means saying no a lot.

Most church leaders have the heart of a pastor who cares deeply for the people they serve. And saying no is difficult because it tends to bother the person who hears it. While it may be difficult, our research indicates that it is necessary.

A church cannot stay focused without saying “no.” While it is not easy, the health of the church is at stake. We must boycott fast-food spirituality.

Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)


  1. says

    How much simpler would it be if we ditched the bigger campus push and put the “focus” on small groups meeting in apartments andhomes in their own neighborhoods? When we run out of room, break off into another small group? Church like it was in the beginning? Real community lived in the community? Instead of creating more ministries and events thata feed our consumer mentality, using resources to really meet needs?

    Sometimes I’m afraid we’ve gone way off track… I’ve gone way off track…

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