Picking up where we left off five months ago (due to parental leaves), our Covenant Groups resumed last night (see Simple Church 1.0).
Our Covenant Groups (a requirement of our ordination process) are discussing Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger’s book, Simple Church. Since we had only read chapter one for our September 2009 meeting, we basically started over and covered the first two chapters this time. At this rate, we should be able to get through the book by the time we’re ordained! 🙂 We meet every other month until ordination in June 2011.
The premise of the book (which grew out of an extensive research project) is that, “simple churches are growing and vibrant” (14).
Here are some quotes from the first two chapters that stand out to me …
To have a simple church, leaders must ensure that everything their church does fits together to produce life change. They must design a simple process that pulls everything together, a simple process that moves people toward spiritual maturity. (26)
To have a simple church, you must design a simple discipleship process. This process must be clear. It must move people toward maturity. It must be integrated fully into your church, and you must get rid of the clutter around it. (26)
Chapter two presents case studies of two different churches — a simple church and a complicated church. As expected, the simple church was the growing church. We’re reading chapter three for our next meeting (in April), but because this book has huge implications for our current work work with Five Practices, especially Intentional Faith Development, I’m reading ahead — and there’s lots of good stuff, which I’ll write about later.
A few sections of the book can be read online at Google Books.