My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Part 4: "Simple Church" Book Review and App

I'm continuing the review and application from the book Simple Church. So far I've covered the "CLARITY" portion of the book, and now we move to "MOVEMENT"

Simple Church
A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.
Clarity ⇒ Movement ⇒ Alignment ⇒ Focus

Movement.strategic programming

The whole idea of movement in Simple Church is the sequential steps in the process that causes people to move to greater areas of commitment. In other words, there must be movement from "loving God" to "loving people" in terms of the discipleship process...rather than stagnation of people just "loving God" and just coming to Sunday morning services.

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We have placed our programs along our strategic process.”

Begin with your clearly defined process. You must begin with the process, not the programs.
ii. Choose one program for each phase of your process iii. Design each program for a specific aspect of the process iv. Place the programs in sequential order
Followers of Christ: Sunday morning services (starting point: Sunday)

Connected to people: Small groups (weekly)
Rooted in truth: online community of deeper Bible study (monthly)

Immersed in culture: ministry teams/outreaches (monthly)

Movement.sequential programming
We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “Our programs are sequential, based on our process”
By placing the programs in sequence along the process, the programs truly become tools to facilitate the process of transformation. Congestion in conquered
i. Designate a clear entry point to your process
ii. Identify the next levels of programming

Movement.intentional movement
In so many churches people remain in the same place spiritually for years. And sometimes they remain in the same groups. They are kept in some type of spiritual holding tank. They rarely move to greater levels of commitment.

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We are intentional about moving people from one program to another.”

Remember, simple church leaders are designers. They design opportunities for people to be transformed. Complex church leaders are programmers. Programmers focus on one program at a time. Designers focus on the movement between the programs.
How to create intentional movement

1. Create short-term steps.
The steps should NOT be new programs. They should be short-term opportunities that expose people to an aspect of the process that they have not yet experienced.
2. Capitalize on Relationships
People DO NOT progress through the simple process because they hear it from the pulpit. People do not move through the process because they see a purpose statement on the wall. As helpful as these things can be, people move because someone else brings them through the process. Relationships bridge the process.
3. Consider the “Now What”
Do not let the present program be the end. Seek to move people farther along.
4. Connect People to Groups
The picture is clear: people stick to a church when they get involved in a small group.

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