Simply Put

tomSimply 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

Simply put,

Tom

p.s. I recommend Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger!

2 comments

  1. Thanks, Tom, for yet another nugget of God’s wisdom as revealed in your life. I want to share a new concept I have picked up in the past couple of months. It is called DNA. Every living creature is imbued with DNA, the basic building block that determines what that creature looks like, functions as, what it is and will become. It is the internal blueprint that makes us who we are. God designed and God imprinted. It is who we are. Christians have a special DNA imbedded into us at the time of Holy Spirit infusion into our lives at the instant of Salvation. D=Divine Truth, N=Nurturing Relationships, A=Apostolic Mission. It is the simplest building block that God has imprinted on our souls to be effective in our new lives. But we also have to work at doing these three things. Divine Truth means having a relationship with Jesus through prayer and the study of His Word; Nurturing relationships means to be in community with other Believers in Christ in small groups where true ministry of the Body can be expressed through all participants; Apostolic Mission is reaching out to the lost souls all around us to share Jesus with them and invite them to join us in community with the Family of God where they can be discipled and loved. Simple, DNA infused ministry. New Testament styled Church. The Movement that changed the world.

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