Those are the hallmarks of the Tao(Way) of Simple Church. When I read the book a few months ago, I actually wound up reading in immediately again, because I didn't "get" what was so amazing about the way Geiger and Rainer went about explaining how to "do" church. It seemed so simple.
Now that I'm actually praying and thinking through how to make a good church better, I begin to see that the "Simple Church" process might be harder to achieve for the church that's doing okay than for the one in flames or falling to pieces. When you are doing okay, to do well means you will have to change or eliminate something that's working - sort of - but isn't working toward your foundational goals. I've been looking through some other church's processes as they turned toward a "Simple Church" way. Here's one example.
From CECWORSHIP: 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
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 ShareOur Church slogan if you will is Together on the Path of Life
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
The book makes the case that business as usual produces the usual results.
We are talking about people not being transformed. Week after week, year after year, many people are the same. The building project of people’s lives is stalled. Stagnant believers and congested churches go hand in hand.
Sadly, in many churches people are stuck in the same place spiritually. And there is no intentional process to move them.
The Bible paints a different picture of spiritual growth. According to Scripture a believer’s life is to be transformed more and more. People are not supposed to be the same. There is to be progression, movement.
Our churches should be filled with people who are becoming. Becoming more like Christ. Becoming more loving and joyful. Becoming. Being transformed (136).
Exactly. I want to resist the urge though, to treat discipleship as a business model, and people as a product that comes as a result of the application of the model. The Holy Spirit is the One Who produces results as people yield their lives to His instruction, correction, and rebuke - as Christ is formed in them.
People should be changing, morphing into awesome examples of the grace of God inhabiting their lives in the person of the Holy Spirit. Some will. Many won't, choosing instead to become a shadow of what they could have been if they were completely surrendered to Christ.
So we pray for wisdom now Lord. Help us to be clear on what You want from Your people through Your Church.