Too Much of a Good Thing

Last night my son’s soccer coach dropped by to pick up his son who had spent the day at our place. We talked about the craziness in the sports world that has the potential to affect our families in negative ways. Consider just the time investment; many parents spend every evening of the week running their kids to and fro for practices and games…and for what purpose? Are they planning for their son to be the next Wayne Gretzky or Kobe Bryant?

At this point we have our kids in recreational soccer. It’s really helped us interface with our community, given us connection with new friends, and supplied an outlet for our children’s energy. All in all it’s been a great experience without robbing every moment of our time. But take it up a notch with select leagues? Good-bye family time!

This got me thinking on something else. Is it possible to experience too much church? Are you tiring of attending every church function? Is Sunday no longer a day of rest but the beginning of a week-long marathon? Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and then possibly Friday or Saturday night yet for some special service before starting all over again (not to mention all the other activities connected with church). I get weary just thinking about it! (Ironically, I may also be shutting down my own weekend ministry here!)

Presently our family spends about an hour per week (gasp!) in church. Call us pagan if you like but we’re loving it! Sunday is a day of rest and a great day for our family to connect. I might also add that spiritual growth and development happens throughout the week without pressure to show up at a certain place at a certain time, often in the context of an intentional small group.

So let me ask you: Has church become a rat race for you? Lily Tomlin once said that the problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. Jesus made us human, not rats, and I believe He got it right when He said, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Maybe its time for us to get it right and take a Sabbath from all those “un-Sabbath” activities!

[NOTE: I’ve finally returned to the blogosphere after “drowning” in my seminary studies for several months…I hope to get a few more posts out before the spring semester kicks in!]

Luke Kuepfer | December 11, 2011
  • David Brubacker December 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm
    "church fatigue"--we don't miss it! A simple organic house fellowship has brought us greater freedom from the rat race. Quality time with my wife and 7 and 4 year old girls, time discussing scripture, time answering practical questions and finding answers, time intentionally studying scripture as a family, time informing my children about the pain in the world such as child labor in Bangladesh and the Penn State mess, all time previously eaten by running to "church", now available to serve the Lord! Good post!
  • thetruthmadesimple December 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    Thanks for your input David...the fastest growing church movements in Asia are based on the similar model you're experiencing. My wife and I have really been enjoying connecting intentionally in smaller groups since I started seminary. We also see the value of connecting with the larger body of Christ from time to time in a larger context (church).
  • Mike Shrock December 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm
    Great post! Christmas time is prime time to feel church fatigue. There are not many things that are more relaxing than spending a Sunday afternoon and evening as a family. Lately I have been feeling like our family time has been eaten up with so much church. Lot's of food for thought.
    • thetruthmadesimple December 12, 2011 at 6:14 am
      Good is the enemy of best. Everyone has a "wonderful plan" for our lives, unless we've already planned it! God's grace on you Mike and the courage to say "No" so you can say "Yes" to the most important things this season!
  • Amy Showalter December 12, 2011 at 9:28 am
    I'm so glad you're writing about this! I could talk a long time about this subject! I'll try not to do it here though. =) My husband and i are newly married and these are things we've been hearing God say for the family we are just beginning.We have a small group that meets regularly during the week but some people may see us as slackers because we haven't committed to a specific church. I'm not convinced that we should just accept the norms that we are presented about church these days. Church was His idea, it seems He would be the best one to show us what it should look like beyond the culturally acceptable "institutionalized" version. We're learning, glad to hear your perspectives on this! Amy (ps. met you a long time ago with WATER 2000) =)
  • thetruthmadesimple December 12, 2011 at 10:28 am
    I wrote this in part to conversations my wife and I were having with others...there's actually a growing number of folks who are getting burned out on too much of a good thing. What's unfortunate is all the pressure to show up to programs in order to show support. Those who don't are considered anti-church, spiritually lazy, or uncommitted when actually for many the opposite is true. Many of us want a higher quality experience of church rather than an inch-deep experience 5 times a week.
    • Mike Shrock December 12, 2011 at 10:53 am
      There is so much truth in these comments. This past summer I missed a number of church meetings simply because I chose to spend time with my family instead. As a result I felt highly criticized, and was labeled as not commited to the church. These people meant well but they missed the point. Personally, I connected with my family like I never have before. There are no regrets on my part. With that being said, I don't want to come across as anti-church. The church is high on my list of priorities, but I'm unwilling make every event and lose my family.
      • thetruthmadesimple December 12, 2011 at 11:35 am
        Mike--you're actually being pro-church! Developing yourself and your family by taking Sabbath rest means you have greater potential of making those times at church more meaningful. My response to Amy about inch-deep experiences five times a week is a huge concern of mine. I think more people are getting burned out on church because when they do attend there's nothing compelling or deeply transforming about the experience. I think we need to think more deeply about creating environments where people can actually really worship God, truly hear His voice, and leave inspired to change the world Monday-Saturday.
  • Kaye December 12, 2011 at 11:05 am
    "Is it possible to experience too much church?" GREAT question! Now that we are no longer in the institutional religion rat-race, we are finally getting some Sabbath rest. We used to be so over-committed to responsibilities & rehearsals & programs & "performances" that Sunday mornings were often hectic & stressful, but now they are restful, refreshing & (dare I say it?) sacred!
  • thetruthmadesimple December 12, 2011 at 11:29 am
    Wow, Kaye..."Sacred" is the term. Perhaps we all need to go back to the text and study God's perspective on Sabbath.
    • Kaye December 13, 2011 at 9:40 am
      I heard once about a pastor who was "bragging" that his church had something scheduled every night of the week - to which his friend wisely responded, "And you're proud of that? When is there time for families to be together...?"
  • thetruthmadesimple December 13, 2011 at 7:03 am
    For those of you interested in the research check out a recent post by the Barna group "Five Myths about Young Adult Church Dropouts" @ http://bit.ly/uoBAqd
  • Alice Weaver December 13, 2011 at 7:28 am
    Here you go, Luke, getting everybody all riled up. LOLLLL I COULDN`T AGREE MORE. Can I say this part secretly ... I have often wondered - DO WE - like the security of doing something BIG for God disguised under CHRUCH PROGRAMS. It gives us status, resources, a wowwww from others, and very little dependence on God. We operate out of our spiritual gifts & talents instead of learning to walk step -n- step in obedience to God?? Learning to walk this Obedience To God is scary stuff because you never know at times what your next move is. EXCITING --- OH YEAH but it requires ALL. Now throw in all the time filler of sports - game watching, driving, expenses, does it leave much time to go after Gods Best because of the time crunch? OBEDIENCE TO GOD requires consistent - knock out knee time of prayer, loss of sleep, tuned in constantly to the Spirit of God so you know when to move and where!!! and I am not " anti - Church " I think we should learn there and embrace the body of believers and then ... HERE AM I, LORD - SEND ME!! I think following a sermon calling us to a deeper obedience to Him we need to put a " bomb " under the pew to get us upright and moving = FULLY ENGAGED in what we just heard. Thank you, again for taking me to "OneThing" in Pa. Was such a pleasure to meet you and your wife. Wishing you Gods very best.
    • Bob Schwartz December 13, 2011 at 11:10 am
      Kudo's

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Contact MeContact Me

Let's Connect

I’d love to connect with you via email or phone. Snail mail can be sent to the address listed below.

Address

333 East Margaret Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390

Phone

(+1) 269.625.3400

Booking InfoBooking Info

Logistics and Details

Select me as your speaker, and I will give you my best effort. See me as a catalyst or facilitator that will help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your event. When you win, I win. It’s as simple as that. I’m here to serve you in life’s journey!

Venue

A venue for the event should be chosen with the target audience in mind. All-day or half-day workshops are ideally hosted in rooms where food can be served and participants can gather around tables for group dialogue and breakout sessions (click on links for preferred room setup: round/long tables). All venues should be suited for multi-media presentations and wired for sound.

Once a date and presentation topic have been confirmed for an event, the venue name and address along with a contact phone number should be submitted for advertisement purposes. These will be posted in my speaking schedule and used in advertising media.

rosedale

Equipment

A room featuring a multi-media projector with 3000 lumens or greater is preferred for all events. I will use my own projector when one is not available. Please note that for most presentations and workshops I need my laptop at the front of the venue from where I’ll be speaking. My system can accommodate VGA/HDMI/DVI cables. Most of my presentations are designed for widescreen (16:9).

For audio I prefer a lapel or Countryman microphone. For presentation/video audio I can supply my own speaker for groups under 100 people. For larger groups I need an audio cable (3.5mm mini stereo) that plugs directly into my laptop.

Replace lecterns and pulpits with a small table or stand on which to place a laptop.

For workshops, have a flip chart or white board available with markers in several colors.

An eight-foot table should be available on which to place books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources for sale. Cash, checks, and credit cards are all accepted.

Fees

I do not charge a set fee when speaking at non-profit events. However, donations are welcome to support my family, cover bills, and feed my Puggle. Suggested donation amount is $500/day plus travel expenses. If I’m within 8 hours of an event I will drive (suggested reimbursement of $250), otherwise I typically fly (if within the USA, $500). I fly out of Lexington, KY and typically purchase my own tickets; a reimbursement check can be mailed to 333 East Margaret Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390.

cnx2016

I’d be delighted to come to your event and speak. I typically keep my events within a 1-3 day time period due to commitments to my family; anything over this length of time is generally reserved for international travel. Workshops can be facilitated as whole-day or half-day events. My multi-part series can be easily held over a weekend, beginning Friday night and ending Sunday morning or beginning Sunday morning and ending Monday evening.

About MeAbout Me

Speaker, author, and life coach.

Born in Ontario, Canada, I moved to El Salvador at age 4 to live as a missionary kid for three years. At age nineteen I moved to Alberta, Canada where I taught school for three years. After leading several short term teams to Asia focused on unreached people groups, I married my sweetheart Amy and lived in Northern Indiana for Familya year and a half. In 1997, we moved with our infant daughter Brittany to Thailand where I served as director of Global Tribes Outreach. During our ten-year stint in Southeast Asia, God blessed us with two more children—Courtney and Jamin. In 2008 we moved back to North America and bought our first house in Kentucky, USA. I acquired a Masters in Christian Leadership from Asbury Seminary in 2014 and now travel both domestically and internationally to develop leaders.

As a leadership developer and life coach I help non-profit and business leaders understand how to maximize their God-given potential to lead and serve others. I am the author of A Serving Leader’s Devotional and the President of the Reverb Network.

I’ve spoken broadly on personal & global mission, leadership, team building, and numerous Biblical subjects over the last 20 years on four continents and numerous states and provinces in the USA and Canada.

I am committed to a Biblical worldview and dedicated to motivating the church toward missional thinking and practice in all areas of life. I believe that everyone has a God-given purpose to love and serve others like Jesus. I firmly believe that having our thinking challenged is not enough; it must be translated into change.

MY STORY

I have heard from other staff members who agree with me, this was one of the best/productive workshops we've attended.

Dan Domer
Staff Member, Covenant Church, Winterville, NC

Your talk rocked my world.  

Qian Wang
Perspectives Student, College Station, TX

Luke Kuepfer’s high-energy presentation of the material was delightful, articulate, and profound! If you are looking for a fresh and life-changing look at Jesus’ servant leadership model, look no further! Give Luke a call!

Don Showalter
President, Hearts Alive!

Luke is a dynamic speaker with the gift of clearly articulating Biblical truths in an easy-to-understand manner. He speaks in humility but with authority, and injects his message with the experience and global perspective gained from living abroad as a missionary for many years.

Santosh David Poonen
Elder, River of Life Christian Fellowship, Loveland, CO

Luke’s enthusiasm and passion for the local church and its impact in the community is inspiring. I highly recommend his teaching and ministry!  

Clarence Miller
Deacon, Sharon Mennonite Church

“Transformational” is the one word I would use to describe the seminar. Luke has a true gift in communicating God’s truths with clarity and passion.

Joe Bacher
Pastor, Foothills Fellowship Westminster, SC

Luke is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, presenting the interactive material creatively. It is a unique presentation unlike the usual “leadership seminars” taught from the front. Luke presents it with expertise, fun, and interest in each attendee.

David Livingstone
Regional Manager, North-East & Mid-Atlantic Region, The JESUS Film Project

Luke really has an incredible way of captivating everyone’s attention and making a seminar meaningful. He speaks from his heart and lives what he preaches. As a result of this Encounter we’re taking our family to Southeast Asia on a two-month mission trip with the possibility of moving there long-term.

Lloyd & Mary Ellen Esh
Pastor, New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship New Holland, PA

REVIEWS

SKILLS

Years Lived Abroad
0
Countries Visited
0
14-ers Climbed in CO
0
Places Lived
0
2014 - 2017

SPEAKER, COACH, & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPER

Presentations and workshops in both non-profit and business venues around the world on leadership, people skills, and life purpose.

2011- 2013

STUDENT @ ASBURY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Masters Degree in Christian Leadership.

2009 - 2010

STUDENT @ THOMAS EDISON STATE COLLEGE

Bachelor’s Degree online in Liberal Studies.

1997 - 2008

DIRECTOR @ GLOBAL TRIBES OUTREACH

Founded and served as Field Director of Global Tribes Outreach (GTO), a non-profit organization based in Southeast Asia committed to church planting and social work.

1994 - 1996

WORKER IN CONSTRUCTION AND AGRICULTURE

Floor finishing in concrete construction and equipment operator on a cash crop farm.

1990 - 1993

TEACHER @ PRAIRIE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Taught elementary through high school students in a self-directed learning environment.

Contact MeContact Me

Let's Connect

I’d love to connect with you via email or phone. Snail mail can be sent to the address listed below.

Address

333 East Margaret Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390

Phone

(+1) 269.625.3400

Booking InfoBooking Info

Logistics and Details

Select me as your speaker, and I will give you my best effort. See me as a catalyst or facilitator that will help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your event. When you win, I win. It’s as simple as that. I’m here to serve you in life’s journey!

Venue

A venue for the event should be chosen with the target audience in mind. All-day or half-day workshops are ideally hosted in rooms where food can be served and participants can gather around tables for group dialogue and breakout sessions (click on links for preferred room setup: round/long tables). All venues should be suited for multi-media presentations and wired for sound.

Once a date and presentation topic have been confirmed for an event, the venue name and address along with a contact phone number should be submitted for advertisement purposes. These will be posted in my speaking schedule and used in advertising media.

rosedale

Equipment

A room featuring a multi-media projector with 3000 lumens or greater is preferred for all events. I will use my own projector when one is not available. Please note that for most presentations and workshops I need my laptop at the front of the venue from where I’ll be speaking. My system can accommodate VGA/HDMI/DVI cables. Most of my presentations are designed for widescreen (16:9).

For audio I prefer a lapel or Countryman microphone. For presentation/video audio I can supply my own speaker for groups under 100 people. For larger groups I need an audio cable (3.5mm mini stereo) that plugs directly into my laptop.

Replace lecterns and pulpits with a small table or stand on which to place a laptop.

For workshops, have a flip chart or white board available with markers in several colors.

An eight-foot table should be available on which to place books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources for sale. Cash, checks, and credit cards are all accepted.

Fees

I do not charge a set fee when speaking at non-profit events. However, donations are welcome to support my family, cover bills, and feed my Puggle. Suggested donation amount is $500/day plus travel expenses. If I’m within 8 hours of an event I will drive (suggested reimbursement of $250), otherwise I typically fly (if within the USA, $500). I fly out of Lexington, KY and typically purchase my own tickets; a reimbursement check can be mailed to 333 East Margaret Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390.

cnx2016

I’d be delighted to come to your event and speak. I typically keep my events within a 1-3 day time period due to commitments to my family; anything over this length of time is generally reserved for international travel. Workshops can be facilitated as whole-day or half-day events. My multi-part series can be easily held over a weekend, beginning Friday night and ending Sunday morning or beginning Sunday morning and ending Monday evening.

About MeAbout Me

Speaker, author, and life coach.

Born in Ontario, Canada, I moved to El Salvador at age 4 to live as a missionary kid for three years. At age nineteen I moved to Alberta, Canada where I taught school for three years. After leading several short term teams to Asia focused on unreached people groups, I married my sweetheart Amy and lived in Northern Indiana for Familya year and a half. In 1997, we moved with our infant daughter Brittany to Thailand where I served as director of Global Tribes Outreach. During our ten-year stint in Southeast Asia, God blessed us with two more children—Courtney and Jamin. In 2008 we moved back to North America and bought our first house in Kentucky, USA. I acquired a Masters in Christian Leadership from Asbury Seminary in 2014 and now travel both domestically and internationally to develop leaders.

As a leadership developer and life coach I help non-profit and business leaders understand how to maximize their God-given potential to lead and serve others. I am the author of A Serving Leader’s Devotional and the President of the Reverb Network.

I’ve spoken broadly on personal & global mission, leadership, team building, and numerous Biblical subjects over the last 20 years on four continents and numerous states and provinces in the USA and Canada.

I am committed to a Biblical worldview and dedicated to motivating the church toward missional thinking and practice in all areas of life. I believe that everyone has a God-given purpose to love and serve others like Jesus. I firmly believe that having our thinking challenged is not enough; it must be translated into change.

MY STORY

I have heard from other staff members who agree with me, this was one of the best/productive workshops we've attended.

Dan Domer
Staff Member, Covenant Church, Winterville, NC

Your talk rocked my world.  

Qian Wang
Perspectives Student, College Station, TX

Luke Kuepfer’s high-energy presentation of the material was delightful, articulate, and profound! If you are looking for a fresh and life-changing look at Jesus’ servant leadership model, look no further! Give Luke a call!

Don Showalter
President, Hearts Alive!

Luke is a dynamic speaker with the gift of clearly articulating Biblical truths in an easy-to-understand manner. He speaks in humility but with authority, and injects his message with the experience and global perspective gained from living abroad as a missionary for many years.

Santosh David Poonen
Elder, River of Life Christian Fellowship, Loveland, CO

Luke’s enthusiasm and passion for the local church and its impact in the community is inspiring. I highly recommend his teaching and ministry!  

Clarence Miller
Deacon, Sharon Mennonite Church

“Transformational” is the one word I would use to describe the seminar. Luke has a true gift in communicating God’s truths with clarity and passion.

Joe Bacher
Pastor, Foothills Fellowship Westminster, SC

Luke is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, presenting the interactive material creatively. It is a unique presentation unlike the usual “leadership seminars” taught from the front. Luke presents it with expertise, fun, and interest in each attendee.

David Livingstone
Regional Manager, North-East & Mid-Atlantic Region, The JESUS Film Project

Luke really has an incredible way of captivating everyone’s attention and making a seminar meaningful. He speaks from his heart and lives what he preaches. As a result of this Encounter we’re taking our family to Southeast Asia on a two-month mission trip with the possibility of moving there long-term.

Lloyd & Mary Ellen Esh
Pastor, New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship New Holland, PA

REVIEWS

SKILLS

Years Lived Abroad
0
Countries Visited
0
14-ers Climbed in CO
0
Places Lived
0
2014 - 2017

SPEAKER, COACH, & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPER

Presentations and workshops in both non-profit and business venues around the world on leadership, people skills, and life purpose.

2011- 2013

STUDENT @ ASBURY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Masters Degree in Christian Leadership.

2009 - 2010

STUDENT @ THOMAS EDISON STATE COLLEGE

Bachelor’s Degree online in Liberal Studies.

1997 - 2008

DIRECTOR @ GLOBAL TRIBES OUTREACH

Founded and served as Field Director of Global Tribes Outreach (GTO), a non-profit organization based in Southeast Asia committed to church planting and social work.

1994 - 1996

WORKER IN CONSTRUCTION AND AGRICULTURE

Floor finishing in concrete construction and equipment operator on a cash crop farm.

1990 - 1993

TEACHER @ PRAIRIE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Taught elementary through high school students in a self-directed learning environment.