“To be simple is to be great.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
In Chapter 2 of Simple Church. Geiger and Rainer take you on a tour of two churches. They are not real churches they are “types” created from their research. They call them First Church and Cross Church. First Church is a traditional,plateaued, or what they deem to be a, non-simple church. Cross Church is a growing church that is simple in its approach. Let me summarize what characteristics they saw in these churches
FIRST CHURCH: The Not So Simple Church
- The mission/vision statements are many and not clear.
- No clear process for discipleship.
- Staff are top notch, but don't seem to be working in the same direction.
- Programming calendar is busy.
- Many activities, particularly special events,are done out of tradition, rather than to achieve purpose.
- The bottom line # is how many are attending.
- Announcements in worship service are many and invite everyone.
CROSS CHURCH: The Simple Church
- Mission and Process are simple, repeatable and one and the same.
- Staff are hired because they are able to help achieve the churches purpose.
- Programming is limited and support church's mission,
- Special events done intentionally and use the chosen process and support purpose,
- Numbers look at where people are in the process.
- Announcements are brief and targeted specific steps in discipleship process.
The conclusion that they reach is that it is better to be like Cross Church. Geiger and Rainer state about Cross Church, “There is a lot of focus. A lot of clarity. Everything fits into the big picture. Everything is guided by their simple process for making disciples.” (Simple Church, p. 55)