I just finished reading Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. This book gives tremendous guidance to today’s busy but spiritually dying, mediocre, lukewarm churches. I think that many people in our American Christian subcultures equate business with spirituality. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The simple fact is that the Church has utterly failed to impact our wider culture with the gospel, to our shame. We are so focused on our programs, special events, and ecclesiologial movements that we have, as evidenced by our actions and despite our rhetoric to the contrary, effectively conceded defeat to the kingdom of darkness. Our churches, for the most part, operate in a closed-loop environment where a lot of back-slapping and affirmation occurs, with little spiritual transformation to show for it.
As the authors point out, many ministries do not have a simple discipleship process in place that can be clearly and briefly articulated by the leadership, let alone the people in the pews. If discipleship occurs, it basically occurs by accident. There is little, if any, intentionality regarding discipleship. Mt. 28:19 says to go and make *disciples,* not converts, not church members, not Baptists, or Presbyterians, or Methodists, or Fundamentalists, or Liberals. Are we serious about this commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ? Or are we more concerned with making carbon-copy clones of our man-made religious models?
Grace Church of Philly is going to be getting off the ground utilizing the simple church philosophy. All aspects of our ministry will be aligned around the “gather-grow-give-go” discipleship process. A PowerPoint slideshow explaining this clear and simple process can be viewed at the links here.
I eagerly look forward to implementing this biblical philosophy of practical discipleship in our ministry in University City, Philadelphia. My prayer and the prayer of our leadership team is to see many people transformed through it by the grace of God and mighty power of the Holy Spirit.