Worth Reading: Deliberate Simplicity
One of my new favorite books is Deliberate Simplicity by Dave Browning. I heard a podcast of Dave speaking at a Leadership Network Confab on multi-site churches last year and when I saw his name and the title I had to get it. Browning is the pastor and leader of Christ the King Community Church in Washington, which is really a network of fast multiplying churches around the globe. The Deliberately Simple Church is a refreshing approach and the book has been hard to leave on the shelf since I read it earlier this spring.
So, what is a Deliberately Simple Church? Browning says its a “boots on the ground approach to the Church’s mission” which changes the focus of church growth from big is better to more is better and makes the main thing the main thing in the Christian life. He describes the approach through this formula:
- Minimality – Keep it simple. The challenge of eliminating the unnecessary to complete the mission of the church.
- Intentionality – Keep it missional. Finding out what really matters to God and concentrating on doing it.
- Reality – Keep it real. Saying goodbye to “impression management” and hello to candor in relationships.
- Mutility – Keep it cellular. More is better than bigger.
- Velocity – Keep it moving. Developing a sense of urgency about the mission and moving from idea to implementation faster for the sake of people.
- Scalibility – Keep it expanding. Staying outward focused.
The book is a must read for anyone interested in seeing an evangelistic movement in the 21st Century West.
Here are a just a handful of my favorite quotes:
- “… the gap holding back most believers is not the gap between what they know and what they don’t know. It’s the gap between what they know and what they’re living. Many Christians are trafficking in unlived truth. They are educated beyond their obedience.”
- “The greatest sin of the church today is not any sin of commission or sin of omission but the sin of no mission.”
- “There is an important difference between asking people to come to us so we can build a church and asking us to go to them so we can change the world.”
- “Activity for God can be the greatest enemy of devotion to him.”
- “… the pastor’s role is to create and sustain an environment wherein the people of the church can carry out their ministry with minimal obstacles and maximum fulfillment.”
- “… our calling is not to build a church but to reach a community. And … trying to reach a large numbers of people in one place is a very limited idea.”
- “The world is moving so fast that there are days when the person who says it can’t be done is interrupted by the person who is doing it.”
- “For the most part we do church as if the gospel commission were given to the lost, telling them to come to our churches. The Great Commission does not say come; it says go.”