Simply put, simple works. Take some of the most beloved and prolific songs like Amazing Grace, Jesus Loves Me and Happy Birthday. They transcend the barriers of language, cutlure, and the generations. Profound in their simplicity, we never get tired of them.
My family and I love Mexican food. One of the few national chains that we enjoy is Chipotle (www.chipotle.com). What is unique about them is that their menu is small. They basically have bowls, burritos and tacos along with the best lime-kissed chips around. It is always fresh, always high quality. Their atmosphere is like their menu, uncluttered, clean… simple. I can’t get enough of the stuff! And, there is always a line. The thought occurs to me, “What if our ministries were this simple?”
Too many of our churches have become complex organizations with structures and systems and multiple layers of authority. They are bogged down in what so often can become quenchers of the Spirit and killers of momentum known as boards and committees, regardless of our efforts to make them otherwise. As to programs and events, we have enough of them to keep people in their spiritual lives what they are in every other area… busy, busy, busy. I know, I know, people are messy and relationships are complicated. We need to try and meet people at the point, place and time of all their many needs. However, isn’t this all the more reason to make this thing we call church as simple as it can be?
I love to partner with leaders and churches to vision simple visions that serve to unite a people around the Great Commission. Still, what I think would be far more strategic and productive for most churches would be to un-Vision! To determine to make our ministry environment like our menu, always fresh, of the highest quality, uncluttered, clean, and simple. Perhaps in this perpetual process we could return to a greater understanding and application of what Jesus said was most important, “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27
p.s. I recommend Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger!