Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Review: Simple Church

Last week I read through Simple Church by Rainer and Geiger. I picked it up because I'd heard it recommended in a few places around the traps and thought it was worth a read.

Simple Church is, thankfully, also a simple book. The authors' basis thesis is that there is a statistical correlation between growing churches and simple churches. What exactly 'simple' means is, understandably, a soft-sell question, but they make a good case. The book is driven by a break-down of the concept of simplicity with respect to churches, in 4 major concepts, and they work through them with 5 main sub-points for each - a nice, logical flowthrough for the book.

At every stage they provide statistical details. Statistics doesn't really do it for me, but maybe it does for you. I was pre-sold on simplicity so that wasn't my sticking point.

Rainer and Geiger take you through simplicity in terms of Concept, Movement, Alignment, and Focus. Basically, let me break down the fundamental point of the book: create a clear, 3-4 point process for making disciples, that is easily understandable, visually illustratable. Map single programs to single stages, articulate movement between them well, and refuse to add complexity to your process.

What I got out of the book was a real need to go back and rethink the structure of my congregation and what we're all about. My major struggle is to move my people from strong internal church relationships, to a missionary mindset and evangelistic engagement. Simple Church has given me a conceptual framework to tackle that problem, streamline a process of discipleship, and refuse a complicatory approach.

4 stars.

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