Simple Church

Today in our monthly Catalyst Gathering we discussed a great book and approach to ministry. The book is entitled Simple Church and challenges the reader to turn from a complex approach to ministry and to simplify. The four main aspects we talked about today are:

  • Clarity
  • Movement
  • Alignment
  • Focus

Here’s a few challenging quotes from the book:

  • “If there is no measurement, the people within the organization will not internalize the severity and urgency of it.”
  • “Complex church leaders are programmers. Programmers focus on one program at a time. Designers focus on the movement between programs.
  • “It is not enough to unite the church around the same what (purpose), but they also must be aligned on the same how (process).”
  • “Jack Welch became the CEO of General Electric and he made a bold statement. GE would be number one or number two in every market, or they would eliminate that part of the business. They would focus only where they could be the best.”

Finally, here are some things that might help you better grasp this Simple Church process:

Get a Handle on Reality

Any normal pastor would agree that they would love to have some kind of handle on the reality of where their church is spiritually.  Measuring a person’s spiritual health is such a difficult thing, and if done with the wrong motives can actually be a very destructive thing.  But as a pastor, it’s important to be able to gauge the effectiveness of your discipleship programs.  Are they doing what we think they’re doing?  Pastors can take a guess or just hope they are, but unless you have visible proof, it’s very difficult to have even a grasp on the reality of your church’s spiritual health.  And while you can’t really gauge a person’s spiritual health because it’s such an intangible thing, you can measure how many people are placing themselves in a healthy discipling environment (small groups, Sunday School, etc.).

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to see where your church is?

  • What does an individual in your church do to be discipled?  Is their a program or process to walk them through a journey of discipleship?  If not, you might want to work on that.
  •  What percentage of those that attend your church on a Sunday morning are going through your discipleship process?  You will never have 100%, but a healthy percentage is 50-60%.  Don’t get discouraged if you’re well below this percentage.  The big thing is that you’re actually looking at the number.  Part of grasping the reality of your church’s spiritual health is measuring.  Looking – not assuming.

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