Some “Simple Church” Distinctives

Karis Productions, in association with House2House, has also produced Tidal Wave:

Simple church models vary, but the concept is anchored in the New Testament model.  Some of the distinctives of Simple Church include the following, per Tidal Wave:

1. Real Community

In “simple church,” church “isn’t where you go, it’s who you are, and we are together.”  It’s being the church vs. going to church.

2. Organic – “Everyone’s Involved”

–   Everyone participates.  Simple church isn’t  sitting in rows listening passively to one person, one day a week.  Simple church is a conversation, a dialogue, coming to census.

–   “Simple church” is a place where each person contributes.  There’s no clergy/laity dichotomy.  No age or gender restrictions.

–  Not just about a meeting one day a week.

–   The church isn’t assigned exclusively to a group of “ministry professionals,” it’s for everyone.  It’s a family.  (Kids are included, not shunted off to a separate room or program.)

–    It’s where everyone’s involved and kingdom work isn’t left “to a few professionals with seminary degrees,” so reproducing happens naturally, organically.

3. Rapid Reproduction

–   “Simple churches grow ten times faster than the fastest growing traditional church” – Wolfgang Simson

–   Simple churches “bypass barriers to church growth.”  The video notes that it usually takes “$1 to $2million to build a church building.”  SCs aren’t tied to building funds, or paying salaries or other overhead.

–   In “building-based churches,” the focus is on bringing people in and hiring staff to accommodate them, not on spontaneous growth or going out.

–    “Simple things reproduce – complex things break down…. Simple isn’t the same as simplistic; some of the most profound things in life are very simple (Note Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed).”

4.    Liquid Church

–   SC is fluid, flexible, simple.  Not tied down to one central geographic point.

–    Permeates every facet of society – “going to where the lost are and sharing the love of Christ, not trying to draw people out of their comfort zones and into the pews.”

–   Circles of influence – getting people to take their faith outside.

5.   Leadership

–    Official training and charisma aren’t required.  Simple church isn’t “about celebrities or leaders who are in control.  The Holy Spirit is in control!”

–    “It’s about releasing an army of ordinary people” and seeing leadership potential realized and released in Kingdom work.

–    “When the joy and the peace leave, we aren’t doing it His way” – “my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

–   Getting rid of hierarchical structures that “lock people out” and consign so many to spectator status.

–   Means a “death to create an empire, to be in the limelight,” to be in control.

–   Assembles around tables and homes where people who love Jesus share, eat, laugh, cry, celebrate, strengthen, support and equip – and God gets the glory.

–   No “Old Boys Club” with male-only leadership.

6.  Money

–    Simple church isn’t about building funds and salaries.  It goes where the needs are (James 1:26, 27).

–   Uses Kingdom resources to reach and help people rather than meet a budget or pay overhead.

7.  Unity in Diversity

–    Different groups of people with different backgrounds “setting aside personal agendas and listening to the Lord together to advance Kingdom work.”

–   “Many members, one body: His.”

–   “An army of ordinary men and women around the world, changing the world, and not man, but God gets the glory.”

We’ll get in to some “nuts and bolts” next time.

For more info, see Simple Church.  Additional resources here.


Coming up: Why Simple Church?


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