I recently asked Joshua Becker, blogger at Becoming Minimalist, how his faith intersects with his minimalism. His reply:
Interesting. Is the trend towards simplicity and minimalism something that Christians should be thinking about?
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a book that helps us understand why less is indeed more. I admit that I was drawn to this book because it meets a felt need in my life: I have way too much to do, and I often feel like I can’t keep up with the demands. But even more than that, I wanted to explore what it would be like to live as an essentialist and a disciple of Jesus.
Essentialism has four parts:
- The first part, Essence, helps us understand the core mindset of an essentialist. It helps us understand that in the end, only a few things really matter.
- The second part, Discover, helps us explore how we can discern the trivial many from the vital few.
- The third part, Eliminate, helps us take action to cut out the trivial many.
- The final section, Execute, explains how to execute on the right actions with as little friction as possible.
Greg McKeown, the author, writes:
Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
I found myself really liking the book. It’s well written, with lots of practical wisdom. In fact, I’m going over the book again to look for ways to apply its lessons more deeply in my life. I especially found it helpful to read so soon after reading Matt Perman’s helpful book What’s Best Next as both touch on similar themes, albeit from different perspectives.
This book is especially important for those who realize that we are stewards of all that we have, and that we will answer to God for how we have used what he’s given us. A book like this helps us redeem the time and live for what really matters.
Not only that, but this is a helpful book for pastors and church leaders as they think through what really matters in ministry. Leadership involves shining the spot on what really matters, and Essentialism gives us important tools on how to do this.
It’s important to read any book with discernment, and this one is no exception. But I found this book helpful enough that I’m already working through it again. Wondering how to focus on what matters most in your life? This book may be a helpful tool in thinking through that question, and moving towards the things that matter most in the end.