Simple Church

I just finished reading Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks, and I am greatly impressed by its profound treatment of simplicity. Rainer and Geiger concluded as a result of a lot of research that simple churches grow more and are healthier than churches that are complex in structure and activity.

I also attended a one-day workshop on small groups in Sacramento. It was sponsored by Church Coaching Solutions and hosted by Stadia. Jim Putman was the presenter, and he is the senior pastor at a 7,000 member church in Idaho that has virtually all of its members involved in small groups. They have a phenomenally high rate of involvement.

What was interesting was that what Jim Putman presented closely mirrored what I had read in Simple Church. Simple, basic churches are actually healthier than churches that try to offer too many things and who are too complex in their organization.

I don’t know how supermarket churches will fare in coming years. They will be constantly having to offer something that is new and delicious in order to keep their momentum and structure. Simple churches, on the other hand, train small groups of people to think in terms of meaningful relationships and serving others.

Relationships and service are highly portable ideas and do not require large, complex structures to enact. At LifeSpring Church this simplicity will enable us to minister effectively to this community without over-burdening our members. Simplicity is so incredibly wise and easy to do, provided that you can turn loose of unnecessary traditions and baggage.

3 Comments

  1. My family is currently looking for a church to become a part of in the Merced area. We just moved to Merced. I got wind of your new church through the grapevine.

    My question is this:

    My wife and I discovered MANY churches in this area advertised in the phone book: What is it that the Lord is calling you to with this new church plant that is unique and what would you say that you offer more of or ‘differently’ than all the other churches (yes, I am taking into account the wide variety of denominations and beliefs in theology).

    I am just curious how you’d answer this question.

    May God bless you and your family today as you continue to seek His face!

    I will look for a response here on your blog.
    Thanks!

    David

    Reply

  2. Hi David,

    My wife and I moved here a year ago to start a church that would specifically target 20’s/30’s and the unchurched.

    We have used very little “marketing” to accomplish this because we did not want to appeal to the already churched or the disgruntled churched.

    We spent the first year networking throughout the community, and the Lord has blessed that immensely. We are now meeting weekly in Playhouse Merced, and we are hitting our target.

    We use/will use the arts in our worship services: drama, video, graphic arts, etc. because we think this is a powerful way to reach our target audience.

    We welcome the unchurched, doubters, atheists, etc. We believe that the best way to create disciples for Jesus is by creating a welcoming environment where people can be involved in congregational life and overhear the gospel as they do so.

    We do not own property and have no desire to do so. We believe strongly in community involvement.

    We are currently a baby church (had our first regular weekly service last Sunday) and we are at a beginning stage.

    All of these things contribute to our being different in what we offer.

    Blessings to you.

    Bruce Logue

    Reply

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