I just finished reading Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks, and I am greatly impressed by its profound treatment of simplicity. Rainer and Geiger concluded as a result of a lot of research that simple churches grow more and are healthier than churches that are complex in structure and activity.
I also attended a one-day workshop on small groups in Sacramento. It was sponsored by Church Coaching Solutions and hosted by Stadia. Jim Putman was the presenter, and he is the senior pastor at a 7,000 member church in Idaho that has virtually all of its members involved in small groups. They have a phenomenally high rate of involvement.
What was interesting was that what Jim Putman presented closely mirrored what I had read in Simple Church. Simple, basic churches are actually healthier than churches that try to offer too many things and who are too complex in their organization.
I don’t know how supermarket churches will fare in coming years. They will be constantly having to offer something that is new and delicious in order to keep their momentum and structure. Simple churches, on the other hand, train small groups of people to think in terms of meaningful relationships and serving others.
Relationships and service are highly portable ideas and do not require large, complex structures to enact. At LifeSpring Church this simplicity will enable us to minister effectively to this community without over-burdening our members. Simplicity is so incredibly wise and easy to do, provided that you can turn loose of unnecessary traditions and baggage.