How We Dig Our Wells: Slow, Small, Simple Still

We like to say we are a Slow Church, a Small Church, a Simple Church…but Still a Church. That’s because we believe well-digging must be done SLOWLY and SIMPLY if we are to keep from muddying the waters. We believe that a community gathered around a well should be SMALL to keep from exhausting the water — or the the travellers trying to get to it. And we believe that, if still waters run deep, then the deepest, sweetest, most life-giving waters run STILL.

Slow Church: we live in a world that values speed, and quick results. Unfortunately, haste makes waste, and speed often destroys our chance to build deep relationships with one another and with God. When you join us for worship, you will notice that our service moves at a leisurely, contemplative pace. You will notice our lack of electronic media, our focus instead on things that can be touched and talked about face to face. We are not trying to create some kind of high-energy worship experience — rather, we want to provide you with a space to pause, to reflect, to rest from the hectic pace of urban life. We want to give you the opportunity to savour the sweetness of the living water. As one wise modern philosopher put it, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Small Church: we live in a world that believes Bigger is Better, that often uses numbers as a primary measure of Success. The bible defines success a little differently: “Dear friends…if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1John4:12).” But how can we love one another if our church is too big for us to even know one another’s names? Modern science agrees: anthropological studies all over the globe have shown that the optimum size for a local human community is about 120 to 150 people. Once a community grows larger than 150 it becomes increasingly difficult for everyone to build close relationships with everyone else. People start to fall through the cracks, and a new level of organizational complexity is introduced. We are committed to resisting that growth for as long as possible! — and once we do grow beyond 150 members, we are committed to drilling a new well in KL, and planting a new church around it.

Simple Church: because our modern society believes success means Bigger! Better! Faster! More! our modern world also requires ever more extreme levels of complexity just to keep everything growing and going. Some things have to be complicated! — like computer chips and sewage recycling systems. Church, however, should not be. Our commitment to move Slowly and keep things Small means we can also keep things Simple, personal, and understandable. When you worship with us, you will see this value at work from beginning to end: from the simplicity of our sanctuary to the structure of our worship. Every week we provide a printed worship guide (also available online) that outlines and explains everything we do. That way, whether it is your first or your thousandth time to worship with us, we are all on the same page, drinking from the same well.

Still Church: Kuala Lumpur is a progressive, forward-looking city, an exciting place! But amid the excitement many of us struggle with a sense of physical, emotional, spiritual displacement, a sense that we live lives cut off from the deep things of the past. This is why our church is committed to being a Still Church, and Still a Church. We do want to provide a place of stillness and rest, but above all we want that stillness to be rooted in the deepest traditions of the Christian faith. When you join us in worship, you will see that our service is a blending of ancient patterns with modern means of expression. We sing songs that were written yesterday — and songs that have been sung by Christians for two thousand years. We recite creeds that have been translated into every language on earth. We believe these practices help keep us connected with those who came before and those who will come after — and so we believe these practices help connect us more deeply to our present.

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