Simple Church: Return to God’s Process for Making Disciples
(Rainer and Geiger)
This is a very easy to read and understand assessment of the church in America. The authors provide research to support the assertion that church in America has become complex; leaving a simple strategy that attracts people and moves them into deeper levels of commitment to Christ and the community.
“Art is a process of elimination. The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed.” — Elbert Hubbard (Focus)
We must shy away from our culture of super-size me and stick to what fits the process. More and bigger programs do not bring spiritual health. Remember Curly, on City Slickers? He would hold out his bony finger and say there was really only one thing… and if I remember, he died before he told them! David longed for one thing (Psalm 27:4); Paul longed for one thing (Philippians 3:13-14); Timothy was to focus on one thing (1 Timothy 4:7-8); even the writer of Hebrews wants us to focus on one thing (Hebrews 12:1-2). We are focus as a builder:
This is difficult since churches are like pack-rats, surrounded by clutter. Churches that eliminate clutter in programming are more focused on what they are to do.
- Going Google – streamline and keep it simple.
- Stewardship – don’t just spend, but invest. Every program is an investment in the process. Be wise in use of time and money.
Use existing weekly programs for special emphases/initiatives instead of adding new programs. Less is more. Choose new options rather than adding new programs.
Reduce special events:
Don’t ride a fence, you must be focused. Perhaps it is time to pull out the knife. If special events are always publicized, the essential programs that move people through the process are not emphasized. These other events will complete with the essential programs for the time of the people. Funnel the special events into existing programs. Special events must be used strategically.
If you want people to understand why you are so passionate about your ministry process, you must be able to communicate it with ease.
Simple to understand:
Saying “no” is easier to accept when there is reasoning behind it. When people are committed to the process, they will be more likely to embrace the decisions that accompany such focus. Be brief and choose simple language.