Item description for Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less (Leadership Network Innovation #7) by Dave Browning...
Overview Learn how a ?less is more? approach to church can equip believers for eternal influence. Church innovator Dave Browning unpacks the six elements of a new equation for church development. These concepts?minimality, intentionality, reality, multility, velocity, and scalability?provide a realistic plan for streamlining church while maximizing impact.
Publishers Description Less is more. And more is better. This is the new equation for church development, a new equation with eternal results. Rejecting the 'bigger is better' model of the complex, corporate megachurch, church innovator Dave Browning embraced deliberate simplicity. The result was Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK), an expanding multisite community church that Outreach magazine named among America's Fastest Growing Churches and America's Most Innovative Churches. Members of the CTK network in a number of cities, countries, and continents are empowered for maximum impact by Browning's 'less is more' approach. In Deliberate Simplicity, Browning discusses the six elements of this streamlined model: *Minimality: Keep it simple *Intentionality: Keep it missional *Reality: Keep it real *Multility: Keep it cellular *Velocity: Keep it moving *Scalability: Keep it expanding As part of the Leadership Network Innovation Series, Deliberate Simplicity is a guide for church leaders seeking new strategies for more effective ministry.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.8" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2013
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
Series Leadership Network Innovation
Series Number 7
ISBN 0310285674 ISBN13 9780310285670 UPC 025986285678
Availability 0 units.
More About Dave Browning
Dave Browning is a visionary minimalist and the founder of Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK). CTK is a nondenominational, multilocation church that has been noted as one of the "fastest growing" and "most innovative" churches in America by employing the K.I.S.S method: "keep it simple and scalable." It involves 17,000 people in several countries. He is the author of Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less.
Reviews - What do customers think about Deliberate Simplicity?
Skip it and go to a movie. Apr 27, 2010
Deliberate Simplicity is a tragic tale of a book taking the beautiful story of a Christ focused community and turning it into a commercialized growth formula. (Sorry is that too harsh for a Christian review?)
Deliberate Simplicity opens with the telling of a story of a perfect utopian faith community..."Imagine with me for a minute...a church...but not your typical church." A church that's spreading from house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood, town to town, training, deploying, converting, baptizing, multiplying, multiethnic, multinational, multipurpose... A church that has it all.
"Do you have this picture in your mind? For me it's not too hard to imagine." Why? Because the author states this is his church. I nearly fed the book to my cat right then and there. And that was only page one.
The problem for me is that I get Dave Browing's heart and love his ministry approach but as a book all I can see is an ill fated attempt at creating a new kind of church brand. The concept is simple and potentially powerful. Focus on the core substance of the expression of the church. For Dave Browning at Christ The King these are; Outreach, Small Groups and Worship. Those ideas I can get behind but the book felt more like an infomercial than an inspiration.
The "Deliberately Simple" church is pushed hard all the way through as a way to brand identify your community. Much in the same way you used to hear "emergent church" or "simple church"... The focus in this book is CTK church and it is "different than any church you've ever seen before" and its practices are highlighted throughout.
This book references more authors than any other book I've ever read. From Godin to Gladwell, McLaren to Driscoll, Browning covers a library of progressive church literature to the extent where I felt half the book was written by other people. Noticeably absent was Thom Rainer's Simple Church...
The book tries to provide some inspiration for focus on what really matters, dropping pretenses and grabbing Christ but it gets lost in the tone. Or maybe in the small font.
A few lines that drove the book for me...
(On the use of overhead projectors.) "We're not trying to dazzle people with Pixels." Not Shane Hipps fans I take it.
(On doctrinal minimalism.) "People from every conceivable background have a home at CTK."
"This is not to say that Deliberately Simple church is the only church interested in reaching out to a lost world. But..."
"I have people tell me, 'Dave I don't go to church, but if I ever did, I would check out Christ The King.'"
"CTK was shaping up differently than any church church I'd seen before. I was moaning in my office about how I didn't have a mentor to show me the way."
Aside from the self aggrandizing promotion, difficult to understand charts, and being kept at a distance from the personality of the author...there are some great quotes in here. Mostly from other people.
Sorry Dave, sounds like God's doing some great stuff over there but as a leader and a reader I say skip it.
And I blame Zondervan for the bad taste.
a helpful model for doing church, worth considering as you think through things Apr 11, 2010
This book is quite intriguing, with its catchy title: Deliberate Simplicity. A while back I heard about a church in Washington that had locations in several countries (and continents). At the time it seemed as if they all were piped in by video feed to one location. That impression led me to be quite skeptical of this book (which discusses that very same church network), I must admit.
As I browsed through, and read much of the book, my interest was piqued. Christ the King Community Church aims to be deliberate about three emphases: worship, small groups, and outreach. More than that, they intentionally choose to not make anything else a priority. They encourage ministry to be initiated and fueled by individuals, but they shy away from packing the lives of their members chuck full of programs and church functions. Keeping the main thing, the main thing, this church movement has had a global impact.
With a criticism of the status quo, and an emphasis on new methods for church growth, it would be easy to write this off as another emergent church phenomenon. But upon reading the various emphases covered in Dave Browning's book, I don't think that's a fair assessment. Some valid criticisms are raised against Christians isolating themselves in a counterculture of their choosing. Meanwhile the spotlight is shone on the importance of outreach. What's more, they aim to spread not by building megachurches which attract seekers, but by focusing on small groups where people are encouraged to go out and find the lost. The worship services stress authentic, real worship, that doesn't cater to the lost, but lovingly shares the truth with them. Their honest, passionate message is reaching thousands across our nation and around the world. For that reason alone, Browning's book is worth a look.
I was able to ask Dave, the author and a founding pastor of CTK, a few questions about his book, and he was kind enough to answer them.
Q: I like your focus on being deliberately simple in how we "do church". Does your emphasis on a multi-site, and even multi-country model take away from that simplicity?
A: It has become harder for us as we have continued to expand. But that is not to say it can't be done. It just may take more work and discipline. The two words through which we try to filter our organization are "virtuous" and "empowering." Whatever we do we want it to be virtuous and empowering.
Q: Would you consider yourself a proponent of the Emergent church philosophy? Will the principles in your book help all kinds of churches, not primarily those more open to an Emergent church perspective?
A: I don't consider myself Emergent, but I can't say that I am an expert on that word either. What I have sensed about where I'm coming from, relative to other restless young leaders, is that my learning style has been action/reflection instead of reflection/action. We have gone out and done it first, and then tried to figure out how to describe it. That has been a pretty messy process, but rich in divine discovery. When the process is non-linear it sometimes defies the neat categories. In some ways, CTK is like a can on the shelf without a label on it. You have to open it up and look inside to figure out what it is. I kind of like that. I do think that there are applicable principles that can apply across the theological spectrum.
Another Great Offering From Leadership Network's Innovation Series Mar 2, 2010
I just finished another great offering from Leadership Network's Innovation Series, Dave Browning's Deliberate Simplicity, How the Church Does More with Less. I remember sitting at a gathering of pastors a few years back. We had just sat through a presentation on the latest "thing we should be doing." We had broken into small groups to talk about how we would be implementing this thing at our churches. I asked the very unpopular question, "If we are going to start doing this, what are we going to stop doing?" It was odd because no one seemed to even understand what I was talking about. At least in our denomination, we tend to just keep adding stuff not realizing that we are doing more and more stuff with less and less quality.
Browing gets right at the issue to set the framework that is the basis for ministry at Christ the King Community Church International. He writes early in the book, "Many how-to books for church leaders suggest things for the leaders to do (in addition to what they are already doing) to improve the effectiveness of their church." (p. 36) It is as though we don't understand the law of diminishing returns. In order to do more, we are just going to have to stop. Fortunately, and this may sound kind of harsh, most churches have plenty of things that they can stop doing that do not have a whole lot to do with their mission.
The author writes, "Activity for God can be the greatest enemy of devotion to him. That is one of the reasons we try to prune the activity branches at CTK [Christ The King], so God has our time and attention." (p. 102) As a person who is still fairly new to church (I have only been a Christian about 11 years) it occasionally looks like a bunch of movements and ideas just piled on top of each other. It was about programs, it was about connecting people, it was about small groups, it was about leadership. Without judging any of these ideas, a lot of churches just look like a chaotic, very busy mish-mash of all this stuff.
Browing and his church have said no to all the "stuff." "At CTK we have chosen to forego meetings, bazaars, programs, fairs, potlucks, conferences, and other activities typically associated with church so we can have more energy available to put into our priorities: worship, small groups, and outreach." (p. 43)
I think this book lays out the problem exceptionally well. As far as the solution they provide, it clearly works for them and I think it is worth a look for churches that are looking to shed themselves of busyness to make room for more ministry. At University UMC in San Antonio, we are addressing the issue but in a little bit different way. Our simplicity might look a little bit complex to some. But we hope it looks clear to those who join us. Our model is to shed the attention we put into a plethora of programming choices and put that energy into the Pathway to Discipleship. When people come to University and they ask, how do I get connected? the only answer is "The Pathway to Discipleship." Instead of offering new members a million choices and praying that they meet Jesus and make some friends, we offer an intentional path to meeting Jesus, learning the message of Jesus and claiming their mission from Jesus. The Pathway to Discipleship cuts through the thousands of options and sets forth a clear pathway to beginning a life of discipleship. It is not the same idea as "get them in and get them busy." It is about equipping people to begin a journey toward a life with God.
So our approach to deliberate simplicity is a little different but I totally amen the message and implementation of this book. Especially if you are involved in starting a new faith community or deciding where your church will go next, give it a read.
making changes deliberately May 15, 2009
What a great book for the church that is tired of being stagnate. It is for the next generation without compromising God's message and mission. We look forward to applying many of the concepts. We are making arrangements to have a group of leaders in our own church go up North and meet with Dave Browning, the author. Highly recommend