In my recent pastor’s report at our annual congregational meeting, I referenced the book “Simple Church” by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. Here are my personal book review notes from reading this book. I should mention that I actually listened to the audiobook.

Quick Summary

Unfortunately many churches drift into complexity. Every idea sounds like a good idea and, before we know it, our plate of ministry offerings is jam packed. Rainer and Geiger cut through the complexity to help us consistently ask the question, “Are we doing a few things really well or a lot of things in a mediocre way?”

Key Insights

1) page 60: “A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.” I would love to develop a statement that expresses how we seek to do this at our congregation.
2) “We ask people to do three things here: attend worship to grow in intimacy with Jesus, attend a small group to grow in love for others, and volunteer in a ministry to serve others. I think this is a good list of key activities all of us should be involved in at the church.

Personal Application

1) I am encouraged to brainstorm the process for making disciples at our church. How could we concretely express this here in our context?
2) I would also like to encourage our leaders to consider how we can simplify. Why are we doing what we are doing? Is there something we can “cut” in order to bring more health to another ministry?
3) One aspect that is often missing from books like this: how does the Gospel apply to us in light of this discussion? Sure, we can feel guilty for ‘overbooking’ ourselves. And we can get fired up about doing a few things really well and cutting out the things that are not absolutely necessary. But we must not lose sight that God is lavishing us with His grace through many church activities where God’s Word is being faithfully taught and proclaimed.