This book is a MUST read for lead pastors and every youth worker. The principles, research, and conclusions in this book have the ability to transform a cluttered and visionless ministry. Practical application of the simple church principles could move our ministries from a trajectory of burnout and help us hit the target of transformation in our ministries and personal lives…
Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger begin the book refering to the ‘simple revolution’ and the move of generations toward simplicity and solid ideas without clutter. The idea is this: Successful organizations are responding to a generation of people who strive to remove clutter and seek to quickly understand how to take a next step to buy a product or buy in to a program that is clearly defined. Gone are the days of the large menu approach from many boomer driven models that sought to provide as many options to cover all their basis… Gone are the days of churches trying to do everything for every single person, group or idea. In their research they found the following:
…simple churches are growing and vibrant. Churches with a simple process for reaching and maturing people are expanding the Kingdom… Conversely, complex churches are struggling and anemic…
The book walks through their extensive research while also giving examples of churches who follow a simple or complex model. As I read, I was struck by how so many churches try to provide so many ideas and programs that they end up have no identity.
A number of years ago, I remember being at a church where we went through the 40 days of purpose campaign. At the end of the campaign we had a ministry fair so that people could sign up to get plugged into a ministry. I remember someone commenting to me about how the church was amazing because of the 130+ ministries it provided… I began to count the weekly attendance and concluded that if EVERYONE served each week, that each ministry would have 8-10 people in it… Obviously that is not likely to happen in any church. However, I was disturbed by the fact that many of the same people served in multiple ministries… “How can that be a good thing?” I wondered. To this day, I am aware that the same church has had leadership struggles and lacks direction, and still has many programs and ministries… and ultimately has shrunk by about 50% or more… How is a large menu ministry effective?
If you see this in your church or ministry, take some time to read Simple Church and learn how you can find “Clarity, Movement, Alignment, and Focus”. Simple church is helping me narrow my focus and process how I move unchurched students into becoming sold out followers of Jesus. Simple church is helping my leaders and parents understand quickly and simply how our process works… When it’s simple and solid, people see the vision and know how to support it. When it’s simple and solid, students know what their next step is….
Hope you get a chance to read it….
My next book: ‘IT’ By Craig Groeshel.