This is the colorful way in the book I’m reading, “Simple Church” describes what many churches have fallen into, albeit sometimes unknowingly. No one likes to be left in the dark, so I’m glad this is one of those books that shed some light on blind spots in my ministry experience. Ministry schizophrenia happens when the church takes on many programs that might work fine in isolation but fail to work well with other programs in the big picture. Church leaders in this situation might be frustrated with how things are going because there are plenty of programs, but they aren’t getting the results like a unified church should. Programs in a church like this typically fight for the same group of people. Mission statements vary from program to program leaving people unsure what the true identity of their church’s ministry philosophy is. Each program is an end to itself and doesn’t seek to send people to the next level in discipleship.
The book believes the strategy of the church should be simplified. While ministry is never easy, the strategy of it can be. Jesus simplified things for people who lived unto the rule of a multitude of rules placed on them by religious leaders. Jesus taught loving God with all one’s heart and your neighbor fulfills all the law. Simple.
Simple doesn’t mean easy, but when people can wrap their mind around what they are supposed to be doing in church the response is greater. People get it. It’s no wonder in this fast paced technological world that simplicity is greatly valued. How can we expect people to make the next move either in their relationship with God or in the ministry if our church doesn’t provide guidance to the next process? How important is it for all the staff to feel like a team working toward the same goals rather than competing with each others ministry philosophies?
Our goal in China or elsewhere is simple, train guys. That includes soul winning, discipling, and church planting, but I’m now considering creating a purpose statement that both outlines the goal and the process all in one. Make it simple so it not only can be followed with minimal frustration, but also be replicated by guys I’m trying to train in the ministry. I want guys on our team to be unified by the same philosophy, and of course that means only working with the ones who are willing to do so. Training guys after all is not a new philosophy, rather its an old method the Lord showed us with 12 guys.
I look forward to reading more of this book and stretch what I know and what I can use in our ministry in China.