This past Sunday, my fiancé had to usher at our church (Doon PRC). So, I rode to church with him, per usual, and sat down really early near the back of church. This gave me an opportunity I don’t get very often. I got to sit and watch as our little Doon church filled up with people, from back to front. Those of you who know Doon know that we’re a pretty small congregation, but it got me thinking a bit. Many of the Protestant Reformed churches are actually bursting at the seams! Although we are a small denomination, there are quite a few churches that are at or even over their capacities!
So, I started thinking about why. Why is this little, unknown denomination growing and thriving so much? Here’s my thought process. It’s pretty simple, and it’ll only take a short article to explain it to you.
This past Sunday was Resurrection Sunday. Most of you probably call it Easter. So, as is expected, many of the people in church had on bright, beautiful colors to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. Although everyone was dressed up and looked nice, I noticed that the style remained fairly simple. That’s pretty common in the PRC, modest and simple clothing. So, obviously, it isn’t our flashy clothes and stylish dresses that attract people to the PRC.
Next I got thinking about our building. Doon is a very simple building; in fact, we didn’t even have lilies decorating the front of church! Although many PR churches do decorate with flowers, the buildings are typically somewhat simple. We don’t use large sound systems or expensive décor to attract people to our denomination either.
Then, the organ started playing. Although it was beautiful, I realized that again, compared to the disco, loud, attention-grabbing music and lights the mega-churches use, our music is quite simple. It usually consists of just an organ or piano playing Psalter numbers or hymns to help people focus on the upcoming church service.
After thinking through those few things I realized the word “simple” had come to mind quite a bit, and I suppose that’s how many people would see the PRC. Although there is a time and a place for more extravagant clothes, buildings and music, the Protestant Reformed Churches have made and effort to keep these things simple in the church settings. This is because we recognize the most important thing in our service is the gospel itself!
The reason for the growth of the PRC is because we teach good, sound doctrine (NOT to say we are the only ones who do!). The simplicity of the PRC is that we are doctrine based. At the heart of our denomination is a focus on the Lord and His work in our lives. As long as we continue to do that, the world will never drown us out. They may continue to outnumber us, and sometimes seem to drown our voices out, but God will richly bless the churches that take pride in doctrine. Church is about the gospel of our Lord, not us! That means although pretty clothes, well-kept buildings and beautiful music is great, our focus is to remain on Him. It’s that simple, really.