Are You Simple, Church?
In a world full of complexity, the church is a great candidate for simplicity. In the book “Simple Church” we are made acutely aware that we tend to complicate the means of maintaining our relationship with God. The means of “doing church” sometimes grows to where the process consumes us rather than allowing us to experience God’s love fully and to share it adequately with those around us. Even some in corporate America have accepted their own complexity and taken the necessary steps to simplify what they do. As children of God, one particular group adopted a simple purpose that also identified their process. They purposed to love God, love one another, and to serve the world. Their specific methods were not identified, but it was clear their simplicity worked, as evidenced not only by their numerical growth but their spiritual growth as well.
In Acts 13, verses 1-4, we see the effective actions of a “simple church” in that they “loved God and ministered to Him”. They did so by utilizing the specific gifts God had given them to build up the church both numerically and spiritually. In their love for God they were dedicated to Him, His work for them and fully accepted their calling (vs. 2) to “seek and to save the lost.” (cf. Luke 19:10) In this, they were doing the same as our model simple church, demonstrating their love for one another. Their love for God and others drove them to reach out to them. I believe it appropriate to view their actions as “serving others.” If not for their reaching out in love, sharing with them the good news of the Gospel, many would be lost. No greater service can we offer the world than that of sharing the Gospel. When we do that we can be confident God is approving of what His children are doing.
How simple is the church you attend? Is it more about programs and processes than simply loving God and loving those around you in the way He loves us? That is the truest form of “simple church”!
Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter