A Shift in our church thinking: SIMPLE

Have you read The Simple Church?

I have and our leaders have. It had some very interesting ideas about stripping out the complexity of our church operations.

It teaches basically to come up with principal areas of ministry and an order of discipleship process. We have heard that before, but the difference with this is taking a look at the church ministries and taking out the ministries that don’t fit into that process.

Our pillars are:

Live For God
We commit to daily give our life and will to God, getting to know Him through prayer and His Word, while seeking to live in a way that would please Him

Grow Together
We commit to a weekly time of fellowship with other believers, where we can grow together, and support each other in our walk with God

Give to Others
We commit to a ministry or other service activity, whether in the Church or the community, through which we can express God’s love working in and through us

Go and Share
We commit to sharing the gospel in word and action, and that when given the opportunity we will invite others to join us on the path of life

Our Church slogan if you will is Together on the Path of Life

How about you guys…have you read the book? Did it change things for you?


8 responses to “A Shift in our church thinking: SIMPLE”

  1. one24worship Avatar

    Hi Joel,

    I haven’t read the book yet but it’s definitely back on my “need-to-read” list.

    When I first came across the book, I was really intrigued by the four ideas that Thom & Eric suggested – “Clarity, movement, alignment and focus.”

    Thanks for the reminder about this book. Because of your post, it’ll probably be moving closer to the top of the list.

    Have a great day.

    David Guion


    BTW – Thanks for posting your pillars and slogan.

    The “Statement of Calling” at our church (the Alamo City Christian Fellowship, San Antonio, Texas) goes like this:

    “JESUS. Our calling is to passionately pursue His Presence, His Likeness, His Work and His Will in everything, among all peoples, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

  2. klampert Avatar

    David: thanks for stopping by
    that statement is great..i love it

  3. Matthew Avatar


    Our staff read this book together and took about 8 weeks to clarify our vision, unfortunately the alignment never took place. I plan on keeping this book in my bag of ministry tricks for the rest of my life. It was an awesome read full of examples of practical application. I recommend it to every pastor I meet.


  4. drewjpowell Avatar

    it’s a great read. i love it…

  5. Russ Avatar

    Very nice. I haven’t read this one yet, but looks intriguing.

    We’ve gone through Andy Stanley’s Seven Principles for Effective Ministry and this philosophy is covered in one of his principles: Less is More.

    Same idea. Do a few things great, not a bunch of things mediocre. Especially when it comes to the “core” values of THE CHURCH at large.

  6. Steve Avatar

    Jiggaman, I’m reading this book right now. This book is PERFECT for us right now and helping me develop the new blueprint in the youth minsitry. AWESOME!

  7. Billy Chia Avatar

    Yeah – Simple Church was a really affirming read for me. One of my favorite books.

  8. Nathan Avatar

    Okay, I must admit, I had high expectations for this book. Since I went to Southern and knew the quality work that Rainer has done in the past, I expected no less than the best. Maybe I overshot myself just a tad, because the book wasn’t all that great to me.

    Sure, the premise is absolutely true. Too many committees, too many programs, too many annual events bogg a church down and cause them to lose their gospel focus. But MY reason for simplifying things is different than that of the book.

    For the book, it is simply a matter of pragmatism. Do what you do best often and keep that your focus and your church will grow.

    For me, I do it because the Bible calls legalism a sin. And most churches treat their committees, events, music, programs, etc as being on par with Scripture and refuse to let them go. That is legalism and that is a sin.

    Getting off a gospel focus is not just what keeps your church from growing, it is a SIN issue. It is often what causes church discipline problems, church splits, hurt families, etc. That would be my reasoning for reevaluating the church and cutting off some of the cancerous cells. Having it grow my church is just icing on the cake.

    And this is my main problem with Rainer’s book. He avoids the obvious theological evidence why simple churches seem to grow and instead goes the pragmatic route as evidence why it works.

    Another, less important issue I have is their fixation on the corporate world. Almost every chapter has a story about a corporation that simplified and refocused their goals. Why? Who cares if it works for them? The church is not a corporation. In fact, here are the Bible’s words for the church:

    Body of Christ

    Corporation? Not in the Bible. So why use businesses as examples? All the evidence you ever need is already in the Bible itself. This is called the sufficiency of scripture. I like the examples of the churches that have implemented these principles, but the other examples I could care less about.

    You want a model of church simplification that has a theology behind it and takes seriously the sufficiency of scripture? Read Mark Dever’s books: 9 Marks of a Healthy Church and The Deliberate Church.

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