In part one and part two, I explained what minimalism is (a focus on the aspects of life that matter most, and intentionally removing everything else) and how the minimalist lifestyle connects to the Christian faith. Here in the third and last part, we will explore what a minimalist looks like in our everyday lives being.
There is no “right” way to be a Christian minimalist. It is a lifestyle tailored to your current life situation. Minimalism is also not about deprivation. Living as a minimalist doesn’t mean that we don’t own things or make time commitments—it just means that we don’t let our things or time commitments own us.
There are some common threads that most Christian minimalists have in common. Below are just a few suggestions on ways to incorporate the Christian minimalism lifestyle into your own life.
Christian minimalists tend to make God and spiritual growth a priority. Since minimalism is about focusing on what matters most and removing everything else, Christian minimalists recognize that God comes first, and create space to focus on God regularly through worship, Bible reading, prayer and conversations with other Christians.
Intentional consumption is also a big part of being a Christian minimalist. Too often, we click to buy that online purchase or stop into that coffee shop without thinking. Online shopping and drinking coffee aren’t the problems—it’s when we go on automatic pilot and consume mindlessly that we consistently make unhelpful decisions. Christian minimalists strive to consume intentionally. We make deliberate decisions on purchases and research from where our goods come.
Christian minimalists strive to consume intentionally.
Stewardship is a huge deal for Christian minimalists. We recognize that Jesus cares what we do with our God-given resources of money, time, talents and environment. We are intentional about how we spend and give money, how we spend our time and gifts/skills, and how our actions affect God’s creation and others. Knowing what spiritual gifts God has given us can help us figure out how to best use our time and talents; check out the ELCA Spiritual Gifts Assessment Tool to find out what gifts God has given you!
Clearing out the clutter and making space for what’s most important is the biggest tenant of a Christian minimalism lifestyle. Starting with material possessions and donating what we don’t need is a great start. Making space in our schedules (it’s OK to say no sometimes!) and time with God is just as important as getting rid of stuff.
A focus on spending quality time with family, friends and fellow Christians is important to Christian minimalists. All of us know that spending time with loved ones is incredibly important, but very often, we don’t do this as much as we would like. Removing everything that doesn’t matter most means that we have more time and space to spend uninterrupted time with our loved ones.
We are called to live a more simple life focused on loving God and loving others. We can’t do any of this alone. God is leading and guiding us as we shift our lives to a more Christian minimalism lifestyle. Jesus wants us to live an abundant life filled with what’s most important (John 10:10).