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Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Thom S. Rainer , Eric Geiger
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Book 1. Februar 2009
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Rainer and Geiger present a very convincing argument that growing, effective churches are "simple churches" that are process driven, not program dominated. Programs that do not fit into a church's clearly defined vision should be eliminated. The keys are clarity, alignment, movement, and focus.

Simple church is a great read. It has study questions that help the reader reflect and apply the reading to his/her context.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  135 Rezensionen
110 von 114 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Good in America, but based on a faulty current model 14. April 2009
Von J. Tucker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I hesitate to give this book two stars because I actually enjoyed reading it. The writers seem to genuinely care about the Church and following Christ, which made it a joy to read. I also enjoyed the statistics and clear research they put into this work.

The book will be great for mega-church leaders who whose churches are chock full of programs that don't flow together in a unified focus. They will be able to use this material to develop a clear vision, and orient everything in the Church around that vision. But therein lies my main issue with this book: it's based on a current Church model I believe to be faulty.

This book operates on the understanding that Churches are program-oriented, which is assumed to be a good thing. I would argue that we have segregated the Church by age and interests (youth group, singles etc.), whereas the Church of our Lord is to be a family who knows each other and brings groups of all ages and interests into meaningful, personal fellowship. Perhaps God never intended for Churches to be as big as we have made them? Families ought to be together, not splintered into interest groups, regardless of an aligned focus and vision. A godly family may have programs, but it's oriented around relationships between God and each other more than anything else. Church is meant to be a body and a family, not a programmed institution.

In the research a major aspect of what they consider a "vibrant and healthy" Church is one that is growing numerically. I would argue Biblically that sometimes the opposite may be true, that one should be concerned when people are flocking to a Church. At the cross Jesus had no followers who stayed with Him. Did He fail? Jesus seemed to be far more concerned with the quality of His followers than the number that followed Him.

There is also an under-girding of thought in this work that people who are more involved are more spiritually mature. It seems to say that if we are progressing people from one program to more, they will therefore be spiritually mature and growing. But that's just not true. Many times people who are involved in activities will be leading secret lives of selfishness, merely showing a religious face at Church. Using this book's criteria for maturity, the Pharisees would be the most spiritually mature people in Jesus' day.

My last critique of this book is that it ignores one simple fact of life: Life is messy. People have messed up lives, struggle with dark things, and spiritual maturity comes in many ways outside of Church programs, regardless of how focused and simple those programs may be. Most of my most spiritually challenging and meaningful times have been outside of assigned Church functions and programs.

Overall this book was a good read, but I believe based on faulty assumptions. I understand that they were trying to help current Church leaders get rid of clutter and focus on what matters. For that I commend this book. Ministry should be simple and focused.

However:

- More people does not equal a better Church.

- Better programs don't necessarily stimulate spiritual maturity, and being more involved in those programs doesn't equate to spiritual growth.

- Disciples cannot be mass-produced in a Church factory. Spiritual growth exists in the context of genuine, transparent, and messy relationships.
96 von 99 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Concise and practical 7. September 2007
Von J. Miller - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Well, it would be awfully ironic if the book wasn't easy to understand. Fortunately, the authors do with the book exactly what they are calling leaders to do with their churches. They outline a simple structure for streamlining churches and letting loose the baggage that slows churches down.

The process is...simple (sorry to repeat). Churches should seek clarity, alignment, movement, and focus. Clarity is the singleness of purpose, stated in a single phrase. Movement is making sure there is a process of spiritual development that runs through the ministries of the church that fulfills the purpose. Alignment is the process of making sure that all the ministries of the church cannel people through a similar movement to fulfill the purpose. And focus is the challenging process of saying "no" to everything that distracts the church from its purpose. The authors have decided on this clear process as a saving grace to churches, repeat it fluidly, and walk the reader through all four steps.

The theory is based on a study of a number of churches that were considered thriving and many that were not. The authors say that their data shows highly significant difference between thriving churches that simplified and complex churches that did not.

The only part of this book, or the genre, that ought to give the reader pause is that the authors presume that ministry requires a strategic process through which people are funneled on the way to spiritual growth. While that is the reality of modern, institutional church management, it seems to overrule the fluid and organic (if not disorganized) ministry of Jesus and the disciples while co-opting their names. This is not a major critique of the book, just the observation that business management principles are governing the church whose founder had very little to say about business management.

Nonetheless, for those of us who find ourselves dealing with the necessities of management, this book is an essential read. It's well-written, accessible, and offers the bird's eye view that a lot of churches miss.
82 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Great Perspective on an Important Topic 19. Mai 2007
Von Kevin Pilot - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Evangelical ecclesiology and theology of community has been wanting for a long time and this book offers a great perspective on one of the biggest problems of the local church (and modern society in general), complexity. We simply want too much. Our lives are complicated and full and so is the life of the church.

Rainer and Geiger raise a good point, we have become mediocre at many things and not skilled at a few as a church. The book begins with the story of a pastor who is trying to be everything to everyone and is scrambling from meeting to meeting try to be a model for everyone else in the church. Later the authors contrast two churchs, one that is program based and one that is simple. One is about trying to be all things to all people and the other about making disciples. The simple church is more geared toward having the people within the church grow in Christ rather than having the church grow in numbers. A good thesis.

Overall, I found the book refreshing and having a good perspective but some nagging questions remained after I read it. First, it seems to make church a kind of process, a disciple factory of sorts where the job of the leadership of the church is to process Christians from the point of being saved to maturity. Second, it doesn't really define how this process is done, it take a kind of "build it and they will come" approach common in evangelical church planning. Third, church in the NT seems to be a creation of God , a family that is already formed with intimate connections through relationship (as Bonhoeffer said, "we don't create church, we simply acknowledge it). This book doesn't really address that aspect of the body.

I still find myself recommending this book but encouraging readers not to stop here. Classics such Bonoeffer's Life Together and current books like Randy Frazee's The Connecting Church are worth reading. Also, I like Julie Gorman's Community That is Christian, especially her focus on small group development.

In short, I don't know if doing church simply is enough but it's certainly a good start.
109 von 120 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Church Strategic Planning Made SIMPLE! 30. Juni 2006
Von David R. Bess - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
For any congregation struggling with strategic planning, this book will be a God-send! Until reading this title, all books dealing with strategic church planning were hard-to-understand, hard-to-follow, and even harder to communicate to others. Rainer and Geiger now finally have made church strategic planning simple. In less than 250 pages, the authors have presented an extreme makeover process to take a congregation from a bloated, burnt-out organization to a streamlined, sleek spiritual body.

The steps described here are simple, but far from easy and painless.

For any pastor or church leader who is planning strategically, this book is a must-read!
63 von 68 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Strategic Triumph! 3. August 2006
Von Mark C. Howell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Some books come along that join the conversation at exactly the right moment. This is one of those rare books that emerges at the exact moment the wave is cresting. If you put the ideas of this book together with The 7 Practices of Effective Ministry and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive you will have the ideas and the language that could lead to a really wild ride.

Where the 7 Practices talks about Clarifying the Win; Thinking Steps, Not Programs; and Narrowing the Focus...Simple Church gives us Clarity, Movement, Alignment and Focus. Together, these two books render a wonderful blend of ideas that run along like members of a relay team.

What I'm finding most helpful about Simple Church is the introduction of a simple, four word metaphor that will define a new conversation on your team. You'll find yourself not only underlining and marking it up but running down the hall to share the same one-liners that I found.

Caution: Don't read this unless you're able to give it some time. You won't be able to put it down.
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