In Simple Church, Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger are proposing to bring a simple revolution to the church (at least in America). Recognizing that the healthiest churches in America tended to have a simple process for making disciples, the authors began a research project which confirmed that there is a significant correlation between the simplicity of a church and its ability to grow. According to their research church growth is about simplification.
I liked some things about the book. However, my major fault with the book is this. It is based on the premise that if a church is growing that the church is good. I don’t agree with that. Just because a church is bigger does not mean that it is better. Not that small is spiritual either but just because a lot of people go to a church does not mean that is healthy and thriving. In fact, big churches are often big because people want full service church at no personal commitment. It is simply consumerism for Christians. It is the “Wal-Martization” of the church where people say, give me everything I want as cheaply as possible regardless of what it took for it to happen. So in this regard it sounds just like another American church growth book. However, there are many valuable ideas in this book
What is important in this book is the idea that the church (or any other organization for that matter) over time become more complex. I absolutely believe this to be true. Most church add and add to programming but are reluctant to ever drop anything even if people think it no longer serves a valuable purpose. I can say this from personal experience. I believe in the idea of evaluating what you are doing. Everything we do at our church get’s evaluated. I do that because programs needs to come and go. I think that most church get too complex because they are never willing to let go of anything. They just keep adding to the schedule. With limited resources, it is a given that effectiveness requires focus. This book is an excellent tool to help remind us of these things.
Overall Simple Church is a practical and helpful read. For churches which are overloaded with events and programs that lack intentionality and purpose the book will prove to be invaluable.
Have you read this book?
What do you think of the idea that churches need to simplify?
Is the Bible simple when it comes to the church?