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Simplicity. A needed value.

This summer was a really great time for our team at the Underground. We’ve had the opportunity to work with a handful of microchurches in really incredible ways, filming outreaches, building websites, and more.

This work aside, one of the things I am always incredibly humbled and honored by is when I'm given the opportunity to preach to our community of leaders on a Sunday morning. I’m very familiar with leading a bible study, but getting to lead from the stage (especially to this amazing crowd) is a very humbling experience for me. This was the third time I was given a chance to speak here, this time tasked with speaking about our value of simplicity. 

For those who don't know, at the core of our belief structure at the Underground is our “manifesto”, a set of values that we believe embodies who we are as a community. Those values are: Jesus, The Poor, The Lost, The Whole World, Culture and Ethnicity, Contextualization, Zeal and Contemplation, Simplicity, Sharing & Giving, Each Other, Kingdom Mission, Humility, Biblical Justice, Passion, Prayer & Dependence on God, Microchurches, The Bible, and Empowerment. You can read about each of them here.

Our value for simplicity reads:

“We commit to live a life free from clutter and the allure of materialism. We affirm that every believer and every community of believers has a responsibility to renounce the sins of its own people. As North Americans we renounce the slavery and idolatry of materialism by embracing a simple lifestyle. We do not believe that money or things are in themselves evil or to be avoided, but that the love of money and things is one of the greatest perils facing western Christianity in our time. We willingly use material things and wealth for the service of the kingdom, but not for personal fulfillment or inappropriate luxury. In so doing we again value the poor who have less, justice in living for equality and personal holiness in pursuing a whole hearted devotion to God.”

I didn’t speak on this value out of a place of expertise, but instead of needing to remember this beautiful facet of Jesus myself. I shared stories of our friends in the Philippines leading incredibly simple lives for God’s kingdom, as well as the story of my friend John Collins who’s lived in Guatemala for years now, embracing poverty in order to serve a small village.

I didn’t speak on this value out of a place of expertise, but instead of needing to remember this beautiful facet of Jesus myself. I shared stories of our friends in the Philippines leading incredibly simple lives for God’s kingdom, as well as the story of my friend John Collins who’s lived in Guatemala for years now, embracing poverty in order to serve a small village. 

John & Ilsi

John & Ilsi

Simplicity is such a crucial thing for us to hold in our hearts as Christians, especially in the western world, because we must remember that material things can so easily become idols in our lives – and as followers of Jesus, we must put all of our faith in him, caring for nothing else. 

Drew Coffman