I’ve had a pile of books for over 12 months but only started reading them this summer. Since purchasing this particular book my leadership role has changed. Since March I have been Pastor of Xcel Church Darlington and I am loving it.

So, reading this book took on a whole new emphasis. It’s theme became very pertinent. What makes a vibrant Church? Growing churches keep things simple. The process to spiritual maturity is easy for people to understand and become a part of – that’s not just the authors opinion. According to some thorough research, it’s a fact.

Lots to digest then…

Simple church leaders are designers. We must design a simple discipleship process that moves people toward maturity. Sounds easy doesn’t it. Question to ponder: is your church simple or complex? Activity does not always mean you will grow.

Simple churches live out four key elements: clarity, movement, alignment and focus. Keeping these in mind helps them make decisions about what to do and what to say no to. As a leader of a congregation that has only existed for 6 months reading about these elements encouraged me for two reasons…to make sure we keep things simple, clear and focused so people keep moving forward in their Christian journey and also because I don’t think that Xcel Church is that far off from getting it right.

Clarity is the ability of the process to be communicated and understood by the people. Understanding always precedes commitment. Love that statement.

Movement is the sequential steps in the process that cause people to move to greater areas of commitment. It is ‘how’ someone is handed off from one level of commitment to a greater level of commitment.

Alignment is the arrangement of all ministries and staff around the same simple process. Everyone does and speaks the same process. Important because churches naturally drift away from alignment.

Focus is the commitment to abandon everything that falls outside of the simple ministry process. The ability to say ‘no’. Focus is the element that gives power and energy to clarity, movement and alignment. It is important as a lack of focus leads to scattering.

This book reminded me that as a Pastor I am about the business of building lives and that if I make the process too complex, those I desire to see built will not know what’s going on, will probably get frustrated and leave. It therefore becomes extremely important that whatever process, people can see it, understand it, be a part of it and move through it, all at their own pace. Plenty of food for thought.

I would recommend this book to Pastors and church leadership teams. You don’t need to follow what it says but it will certainly make you look at what you do and how effective you are being at doing it. After all, we need all the vibrant churches we can get and should never be afraid to make changes if needed. [Get your copy here]

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