As part of my New Year commitments, I want to do more reading. I find when I read it makes me more creative. It helps me speak better. It helps me lead better. My goal is to try and lead at least one chapter a day when I ‘m in my office at the church. Which translates into about four chapters a week.
I, also, wanted to come up with a way of using this info to help benefit more that just myself, so I want to use the blog to recap and share what I'm learning. The first book I am going to work my way through is Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger's book Simple Church (Copyright 2006, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville Tennessee).
Chapter 1: The Simple Revolution Has Begun
“Out of complexity, find simplicity” Albert Einstein
Many times in church life, we are looking for that new methodology or philosophy that is going to help us to thrive. We often go to seminars or conferences looking for a perfect solution, only to end up busier and more frustrated. Life and ministry are complicated. Mainly because life is busy. We are running, even in the church, from one activity to another. We are tired. We are overwhelmed. Our lives seem to be anything but simple.
A trend in society is to move towards simplicity. Companies such as Apple, Google and others are trying to simplify products because simple is good. The question is, “is this trend happening in the church as well?” The authors state that churches that approach ministry with a more simple focus in regards to ministry, seem to be more effective, than those who are complicated in their approach.
What the authors are not saying.
- The movement to simple is not a change in doctrine.
- It is not merely a movement to be hip.
- It's more than just being pragmatic.
- Simple doesn't mean easy.
Jesus Modeled and Taught Simplicity.
- He summed up 613 commands in the Old Testament into two: Love God and Love People.
- His teaching was easy. (Matthew 11:28-30)
- He didn't like things that got in the way of people encountering God (Mark 11)
- He had some pretty harsh words for religious people who were characterized by complexity and hypocrisy (Matthew 23)
“To have a simple church, you must design a simple discipleship process. This process must be clear. It must move people toward maturity. It must be integrated fully into your church, and you must get rid of the clutter around it.” (Simple Church p. 26)