Thursday, June 28, 2007

SIMPLE CHURCH (PART 2)

Last week I blogged about a book the staff pastors are reading and discussing together—Simple Church by Thom Rainer. We’ve had some lively and energized dialogue about ways we can apply Rainer’s research findings in our setting. After hundreds of consultations with churches and intensive research, Rainer concluded that churches need to simplify.

We are asking some tough questions. Are lives being transformed? Do we have a process in place that moves people to life transformation? If so, do all our members know what that process is? Do all of our ministries align themselves with this process? Are we doing a good job of making disciples? The kind of disciples Jesus made? Or is everyone just busy doing the church thing?

Rainer’s research revealed that churches with a simple process for reaching the lost and growing believers are making great strides in kingdom expansion. Those with complex processes are over-programmed and have become anemic and make very little impact.

Think about how Jesus simplified things. He took 613 Old Testament commands and culled them into two—love God and love your neighbor. That’s simple, isn’t? When He cleared out the moneychangers from the Temple, I think it was a way of letting us know that He is opposed to anything that gets in the way of people experiencing a personal encounter with Him.

Do we have any clutter that gets in the way? That is the very thing we’re discussing on Monday mornings in staff. Too much clutter results in people doing church instead of being the church.

One quote in Simple Church is worth passing on to you. “To have a simple church, leaders must ensure that everything their church does fits together to produce life change. They must design a simple process that pulls everything together, a simple process that moves people toward spiritual maturity.” Don’t ever forget why Chapin Baptist exists. Life transformation. That’s what we’re all about!

I will keep you posted on things we’re learning and seeking to apply.

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