Simple Church

Often times I will sit down and read a new book.  More often than not the book is about church leadership.  What does it take to be a leader in a church?  And not just be a leader in a church, but be an effective leader in a church?  “Good to Great” is considered in many circles, whether social work or business world, to be one of the greatest books on leadership.  Sometimes the books deal with culture and what the church should be doing within it.  Books like, “They Like Jesus But Not The Church,” by Dan Kimball or, “No Perfect People Allowed,” by John Burke.  These are some of my favorites.

But there is something simple out there.  A simple approach to church work.  And simple is exactly what the culture is looking for.  In “Simple Church,” the authors in the first chapter share different companies within the culture that are diving into the “simple” revolution.  Companies like Apple, Papa John’s & Google.  Each of these understand the concept of simple in our complex world.  At the touch of a button we can communicate with the other side of the world.  Our world is so small yet so complex.  And in the midst of a complex life, and sometimes a crazy life, there is a simple revolution.  A revolution that is taking its cue from the culture around it.  It is a revolution that has set my heart ablaze again for the work of God’s Kingdom.

The purpose of the book is to return to God’s simple plan for making transformed and mature, disciples of Christ.  Not making Christians.  Not making more church-goers.  Not making more rule-followers.  Not making pew sitters.  But walking with people through a simple process that is designed to help them transform into all that Christ hopes they will become.  And through this transformation, people will join together with Christ and other people, to build the Kingdom of God.  For those of you in a ministry of any kind, I truly believe that you will find this an extremely refreshing read.

I want to encourage everyone who is in church leadership in any manner, to either read the book “Simple Church,” or to encourage your church leaders to read it for themselves.

What are some “simple” things you have noticed within our world?  Where are the simple things in the midst of our complex world?


About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on April 30, 2009, in Church, discipleship, Leadership, the culture, the nation, the world. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This really a great book. It’s is one of the books the shaped or… helped me understand my philosophy of ministry. I’m definitely over due for another reading.

  2. culturalawakening

    I agree with you all the way man. Originally, coming out of college, I couldn’t have even told you what my ministry philosophy was. Many churches want your philosophy to be, “Do whatever we’ve done for the last 100 years, keep our dying programs alive, do what the last preacher did and still grow the church.” That of course doesn’t work. This book has helped redirect me on my own ministry philosophy. It was an amazingly “simple” book.

  3. I think it’s interesting how we often regard “simplicity” as a revolution of some sort when it’s really a return to the way we began. I love that in Acts there are no real details given about the early church other than that they followed what Jesus and then the Apostles taught; they ate together, prayed together and helped each other out. We learn that to be a leader we need to be nothing more than a living example of these teachings; a lover of God and of people. I absolutely LOVE the simplicity of that picture! It’s just people choosing to know and love each other. This lifestyle isn’t forgotten, there are cultures all around the world who still live this way, they value friendship over possessions, I think the American church would benefit beyond measure to follow their example. Leave this whole 1950’s, Elks Lodge style groupieness behind and be a family again!

  4. culturalawakening

    “Elks Lodge groupieness!” That is hilarious!

  5. Reductionism. We want to know what our evangelism program is doing. We have a program for outreach. We have a program for visitation. We have a program for adult Bible communities. We have a special music program, etc,etc, etc.

    I wonder how Jesus did it with out all our programs?

    We really like to reduce discipleship into a form that we can get people to volunteer for. We can’t get people to be involved in serious discipleship, but we can get a few volunteers for the soup kitchen, for the clothing drive, and for VBS, so we do those things.

    My question: WHAT IS IT THAT TRUE DISCIPLESHIP IS ABOUT? It is easy to point out that we aren’t doing it, at least, not well. But what is discipleship, and what should be included?

    • culturalawakening

      JJ – that’s a great point. I wonder how easy it is to define “true discipleship.” A disciple is someone who follows after and learns from the teachings of a rabbi or teacher, in this case Christ. So my understanding of that would indicate that those of us who want to pursue “true discipleship” would need to give up everything to be like Christ. To take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. And that, as you have mentioned, is far bigger than VBS and a soup kitchen. I believe those things could be included, but it is definitely bigger than that.

      We need people to begin investing in the lives of others and helping them to grow to be more like Christ. Rather than fighting and arguing over our petty differences, we need to team up to be more like the One who has called us into His marvelous light.

      Please, keep commenting JJ. Good point here.

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