Item description for The Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples by Thom S. Rainer, Eric Geiger & Grover Gardner...
Overview The simple revolution has begun. From the design of the iPod to the uncluttered Google home page, simple ideas are changing the world. Simple Church clearly calls for Christians to return to the simple gospel-sharing methods of Jesus. No bells or whistles required, so to speak. Based on case studies of four hundred American churches, authors Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger prove that the process for making disciples has quite often become too complex. Simple churches are thriving, and they are doing so by taking these four ideas to heart: Clarity. Movement. Alignment. Focus. Each idea is examined here, simply showing why it is time to simplify.
Publishers Description Many of the church leaders we talk to are seeking an escape from the not-so-simple life. // "Relax. This book is not about another church model. If you are a church leader, you have been exposed to plenty of models, and most of them are on your shelf. Or worse, you have blended a bunch of models into one schizophrenic plan. If that is the case, neither you nor the people in your church are really sure what your church is all about. We see it all the time. // But go ahead, let down your guard. No new program is going to be pushed here. There will be nothing new to add to your calendar. If anything, you will be encouraged to eliminate some things, to streamline. This book will help you design a simple process of discipleship in your church. It will help you implement the model you have chosen. It will help you simplify."
Community Description The simple revolution has begun. From the design of the iPod to the uncluttered Google home page, simple ideas are changing the world. Simple Church clearly calls for Christians to return to the simple gospel-sharing methods of Jesus. No bells or whistles required, so to speak. Based on case studies of four hundred American churches, authors Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger prove that the process for making disciples has quite often become too complex. Simple churches are thriving, and they are doing so by taking these four ideas to heart: Clarity. Movement. Alignment. Focus.Each idea is examined, simply showing why it is time to simplify. 6 CDs. Narrated by Grover Gardner.
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.
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Studio: Hovel Audio
Running Time: 370.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.62" Width: 5.62" Height: 0.78" Weight: 0.33 lbs.
Release Date Jan 15, 2008
Publisher Hovel Audio
ISBN 159644567X ISBN13 9781596445673
Availability 0 units.
More About Thom S. Rainer, Eric Geiger & Grover Gardner
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. Also a respected pastor and researcher, he has written more than twenty books and coauthored the No. 1 best seller Simple Church. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons, several grandchildren, and live in Nashville, Tennessee.
Thom S. Rainer has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples?
Great reminder Nov 10, 2008
This simple book was a great reminder to me to focus on the essentials of church and cut out some of the clutter. Could have done without all the charts in the book :)
"Simple Church" is simply great! Oct 14, 2008
Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples Rainer and Geiger do their homework, reach strong conclusions, and express them with utmost clarity and simplicity. I have been working through this book with the leaders in my church and there is a level of excitement about it that surprises even me! We are coming up with a simple process for the fundamental task of God's mission, namely "making disciples", that will unify and solidify the entire ministry of our local church for years to come.
Not sure I would pay the full price for this again.... Oct 1, 2008
This book is as skewed. The statistics are skewed and the survey findings are not able to be generalized to the overall population. There was no random sampling, and so the findings were significant because they surveyed significant churches and failing church.... several times the data in the form of graphs show something totally different than what they state their findings are, which makes the skewing even more evident than usual, if they had let the data say what the data says, and not force the data to try and say what they want it to say their findings probably would be not substantial and would not need to have a book written.
Great way to look at revamping church... Sep 1, 2008
When I started to read this book, I had absolutely no grounds for either thinking I would love the book or hate the book. I just wanted to read it. I actually had never heard of it as I am not a Senior Pastor, but what caught my attention is the desire to see our church focus on what God has the church here for. Not our programs, events, etc. but just literally..."Why did God leave the church here on this earth?" I thought this book would aid in this understanding.
What is interesting is a lot more study and data went into this book than I had really thought. From the sounds of it they had over 400 churches do surveys, they went and spoke to different church leaders in both person and over the phone (from what I can gather). This truly was a big deal. The whole basis of this book is to see what "kind" of churches are surviving our post Christian era. The reason this thought came to mind is that Eric Geiger had started to take a simpler model for his own church that he is the Executive Pastor at and see if they had "caught on to something."
This book is very well written on how to get your church from a busy program oriented church to a more simple focused church on what the church feels as though Christ has called them to be. Here is what I mean. It is a top down approach instead of a bottom up approach. You are to start with the process that new converts/new members are to start at in the church and bring them through to maturing believers in Christ. Whatever you believe this looks like in steps you need to start there first. So, an example might be that you believe everyone should "Know Jesus, then start maturing in their faith, serving God and then seeking the lost" then you should design everything you do to correspond with each one of those steps. If one of your programs doesn't fit, then throw it out. It might be hard at first, but this is to really keep the church on mission. Also, if you have too many programs for one of the steps, it needs to be thrown out as well. This is meant to stop churches from doing a lot of things mediocre to doing a smaller amount of things very well. This is the very basic idea of this book. But I just hit on the tip of the ice berg.
While I believe the book is well written and well documented I believe that they would like their stats to be better than they actually are. When they sent out the surveys they had statements and had the church leader respond with, "Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Mildly Disagree, Mildly Agree, Agree, Strongly Agree." They then took the stats and wrote a book based on each finding.
Here is my issue with some of the stats. They aren't constant and not very overwhelming at places. They aren't constant because when the leaders responded weakly to a question they might include, "We found that vibrant churches agreed to some degree to the following 'X' amount of the time." When the leaders responded strongly then they would say something like, "We found that vibrant churches agreed or strongly agreed to following 'X' amount of time." So, the findings were all over the board in some instances. This didn't happen much, but enough to catch my attention.
The other thing that I found odd, was that they were overly impressed with a statement even if only a minority of the vibrant church leaders agreed with a statement. Let me give you an example:
"We asked church leaders if they have a system in place to evaluate if people are progressing through their process. Of the vibrant churches 27% strongly agreed or agreed with this compared to 9% of the comparison churches. Vibrant church leaders agreed or strongly agreed three times that of comparison church leaders that they measure the effectiveness of their process." Eric Geiger, Pages 121,122
This means that 73% of the vibrant churches weren't "sold" that this was important but this is supposed to wow me because it is three times that of comparison churches? Not really. This was discouraging that this was thought to be overwhelming evidence on some of these questions.
With all that said. This book is still very very good. I really enjoyed the practicality of the book and the effort that Eric and Thom put into to find what is being put into place in churches across America. I actually fully believe in what they are talking about, I just don't believe what they have to say about every single question asked is as overwhelming as they would like us to believe. This happened a lot in the book, but it wasn't the focus of the book, so I can look past it.
I would really recommend this to any church that feels as though they are doing a lot, but accomplishing nothing. Lots of programs, but few converts and few people being changed for the glory of God. Very easy read, very practical and something that you won't look to and say, "impossible." Highly Recommended
Why coudn't the book be simpler and less redundant Aug 22, 2008
I think the book has several good ideas.
But why did they write it in such a cluttered and redundant way? THe book is way longer than it needs to be. I think they should have followed their own advice. Way too much emphasis on the statistics and way too many charts that look all to much the same. What is the statistical variation from chart to chart? Not much. I think it backs to what Jesus said: There are two great commandents for the individual and one or two great commendments to the church:
1) Love God 2a) Love one another (your community of faith) 2b) Love your neighbor (those outside your community of faith) For the church: The great commission: Go! - Making disciples and baptizing.