Friday, October 5, 2012

Simple Church

The mission of the church is to “make disciples.”  It's really that simple.  There is no Plan B.  That means our sole function is to reach people for Christ and move them through the stages of spiritual growth.  Changed lives are the bottom line.  Christ formed within people is the goal.


Pastor Joe goes to a conference.  He hears some great ideas and comes home with a notebook full of plans and begins to implement them right away.  Six months later a staff member comes forward with a stack of ideas and the church begins to implement those too.  A few months later a group of church members wants their ideas to be incorporated into the ministry menu.  This goes on for years and years until they have stacked programs on top of programs stacked onto more programs.  The energy is diffused.  There is no clear direction.  People are running in different directions.  The church is going nowhere.  Resources are depleted.  People are busier than ever, but there is little progress.

I've written on this subject extensively the last few years.  If you're interested in more related articles, go to the left sidebar under "Index of Categories" and click "Keep it Simple."


1. Write one mission statement for the whole church. (Not multiple statements:  i.e., a purposes statement, a vision statement, a mission statement, and a core vales statement.  That's confusing.  Neither should there be separate mission statements for each department or group.  That's even more confusing, not to mention it creates splinter groups in the church).

2.  Align everything in the church under that one mission statement.

3.  Ruthlessly eliminate everything that doesn’t fit.


1.  Design a simple process.  Q:  What are we trying to do?  A: Make disciples.  Q:  What does a disciple look like?  A:  Put the description down on paper.  Q: What are the steps for making disciples?  A:  Put it down on paper.  Keep it simple.

2.  Implement the process. 

3.  Unite all ministries around this process.  Instead of treating discipleship as a seperate ministry,  all our ministries should be saturated with a discipleship emphasis.  Worship, music, fellowship, volunteering, groups, etc, should be viewed as part of the discipleship process.  Disciple-making should permeate everything we do.  It's the main thing.

4.  Eliminate everything outside the process.  This is where the rubber meets the road and things get painful.  Most people will be grateful that a process for discipleship has been developed.  However, some people will struggle or even resist abandoning pre-existing programs.  Everyone believes in a balanced budget, but no one wants their line item cut.  Everyone agrees that you have to trim ineffective programs, but no one wants their program eliminated.

While becoming simple will be difficult, it is also worth it.  The gates of hell will be pushed back, God's kingdom will be advanced, and people in our church family will be placed in the pathway of God's transforming power.

Looking ahead, this is what 2013 is beginning to look like for PCC.  Are you in?


James Wheelus said...

Yes Sir, I'm in!

Ron said...

Thanks James. You are always encouraging and I appreciate it.