Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger
Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger has had wide readership in the U.S. and wide influence among pastors.
The basic point is this: Design a simple discipleship process and eliminate everything else.
Churches drift toward complexity and clutter. You can accomplish more if you do fewer things. By doing fewer activities and fewer ministries, you can do the vital ministries with more excellence and you can free up your people for relationships with lost people.
There are four basic steps in the simplify process:
1. Clarity. Give clarity on your simple disciple-making process.
2. Movement. People must be moved along a pathway of discipleship.
3. Alignment. All the staff and ministries must be aligned around this simple process.
4. Focus. Say no to anything outside this simple process.
For us, ideally we would get rid of special one-time events whenever possible. Over time, we would eliminate regular ministries that are not as vital for our mission. All the staff and elders must buy into our simple discipleship process.
We already have a three-fold mission, which summarizes our discipleship process: Love Jesus. Journey together. Bring hope to the world. To achieve this we want all of our people to do three things: Attend a worship service. Get in a home church. Find a place of ministry. And live on mission in your neighborhood.
Over time, we need to decide if we will keep other ministries, including men’s ministries, women’s ministries, The Edge, sports teams, Sunday morning classes and our preschool.
Also, we should seek the Lord about simplifying all of our outside the walls ministries. What are some of the basic things that God has called us to.
We will be a more effective church as we simplify. But we do need to avoid hasty moves. We should proceed prayerfully, deliberately, wisely, at the pace that our church needs. We need God to lead us in every step.