UPCOMING BOOK STUDY AT VSCC: CHRISTIAN MINIMALISM (An excerpt from Becca Ehrlich’s new book, “Christian Minimalism: Simple Steps for Abundant Living”)


Being a Christian minimalist means living in a way that is different from the dominant consumer culture around us. Living as a Christian in a Post-Christian society is in itself countercultural; living as a Christian minimalist is doubly so. Society constantly tells us:

  • More is better. We are what we own, so we need to own lots of impressive and expensive things.
  • We are what we do for our job. Having an impressive job title should be one of our main goals. 
  • Our financial bottom-line is what defines our self-worth. If we don’t make a lot of money, we should work harder and climb up the ladder to make more money.
  • Being busy is a badge of honor. Resting is just wasted time that could be used producing more. 
  • Being famous, having power, and receiving worldly accolades are worthy goals to continuously strive for.

Christian minimalists, on the other hand:

  • Aim to live with less, intentionally consume, and focus on what’s most important, rather than continuously buying things that won’t ultimately make us happy. (READ Luke 12: 15-21).

Luke 12:15-21 — Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

  • Strive to focus on what God is calling us to do (our vocation) rather than basing our identity on our job title or how we make a living (READ 1 Corinthians 7: 17).

1 Corinthians 7:17 — Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

  • Understand, as Jesus tells us in the Gospels, that having money actually makes it harder to enter the kingdom of God (READ Matthew 19: 23-24) … 

Matthew 19:23-24 — Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

… and amassing wealth shouldn’t be our main goal (READ 1 Timothy 6: 10) …

1 Timothy 6:10 — For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

… Our identity is as beloved children of God (READ 1 John 3: 1) …

1 John 3:1 — See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

… Intentionally spend Sabbath time in rest and renewal alone, with our loved ones, and with God (READ Matthew 14: 23).

Matthew 14:23 — After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone.

  • Know that fame, power, and worldly praise are not our goal; we are called to serve rather than be served, as Jesus did (READ Luke 22: 24-30). 

Luke 22:24-30 — A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

As Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12: 2). 

We are called to live differently than society’s accepted lifestyle driven by consumerism. 

From Pastor Bob: I hope you’ll join us for our upcoming Book Study of Becca Ehrlich’s “Christian Minimalism: Simple Steps for Abundant Living. As Becca says in the last line of Chapter 1: “Imagine what YOU could do if you simplify and focus on what really matters.” 

May Peace Abound and Life be Abundant!                                                                                                                                <>< Pastor Bob