The book we had to read for staff is called Simple Church and our associate pastor Kim Pagel assigned it to us. Wow what a read! My wife and I read it together as we traveled to the Youth Ministry Conference in Indy a couple of weeks ago. It has some great thoughts and questions to work through at the end of each chapter that really helped me process what the book is sharing. Here are a couple ideas from the book that really jumped out at me:
1) I’m very much a process type of guy. Do this, then do this, then do this, etc. works really well for me (maybe that is why I like my laptop and pocket pc so much). The book doesn’t say this is what you have to do but it gives us a practical idea of how to make a process for our church. The idea to work with is – Clarity -> Movement -> Alignment -> Focus. What encouraged me is the fact that New Covenant is already doing some of these ideas that can fit into a process that works for us.
2) The other idea that jumped out was said at the end of the book. It said, “Here is the bottom line: Get there as fast as you can but not faster.” I like change and I believe to be healthy in life one must change or one grows stale. But I’m also very sensitive to changing just for the sake of changing which can cause whiplash and is very unhealthy. The book strongly recommends that we must become simple and if we don’t we will die. It is also careful to point out that this “need to change” needs to be prayed over and turned over to God for it to happen in His timing. “Pray for discernment. Allow God to give you wisdom and grant you favor. Get on God’s timetable. Move to simple as God leads. Use wisdom and compassion in becoming a simple church.” Can't say that any better.
I’m excited about where New Covenant is going and this book reinforces in my heart that we are on the right track to bring God glory by sharing His good news and love to our community of friends.