Imagine this scenario. A pastor and team of leaders invest months in crafting a vision or purpose statement. They have late-night meetings with pizza and M&Ms. They debate the wording. They choose key Scriptures to emphasize the direction of the church. They are filled with excitement, and they come up with a plan to share everything with the people.
They share the vision with the key leaders in the church. Then they mail out letters to everyone. They get a banner. They get new letterhead with the statement just under the church name. They even change the names of their budget categories. They put the vision in the bulletin. And the pastor preaches on it for three weeks.
Then everyone breathes a sigh of relief. The intensity dies down. That’s it.
“Nice series, Pastor. I enjoyed it.”
Everything goes back to normal.
The statement remains, but nothing really changes. It might as well be in a drawer. It is just some nebulous verbiage. No one really pays attention to it. No one really gets it.
This scenario is typical.
If the church is going to be simple, these events cannot happen. The process must not be just another statement on a wall or in a drawer. If the church is going to be simple, the process must be clear.
If the process is going to be clear to the people, then it must get into the very fabric of the church. It must become part of the character of the church. It must be foundational to the church culture. It must be in the DNA of the church’s identity.
For the simple process to become woven into the identity of the church, it must be discussed. Frequently. Not just during the launch. Clarity is not realized without consistency.
It is not enough to unveil a vision for the how and then bury it among other things. It is insufficient to preach a series on the discipleship process and then file the messages. Consistent discussion is a must.
Adapted from Simple Church (B&H Publishing Group, 2006)