Stream lining our Student Ministry: a book review of Simple Church

As I said in a previous post I am leading about 12 adults in reading and discussing Simple Church written by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger.  While the book does not discuss student ministry specifically, I think it has some great application for anyone working with students. 

Their are two parts to this book Part 1: Simple Revolution, or what I would call Why become a simple church, and Part 2: Becoming a Simple Church, or what I would call How to become a simple church.  The authors make compelling arguments for why a church should move towards a simple process of making disciples, but also make it clear that if a church were to do this it will be very difficult. 

There are several things I appreciate about this book:

1. The “why” is clear: You can not get through the first chapter before you understand the “why.”  It is easy for the reader to understand why this would revolutionize your church and ministry.

2. The “how” is specific but not to specific: We have all read books or articles written by people that have said if you do “this” exactly the way I did it then you will have success.  This idea only leads to frustration when it does not work the way it is suppose to.  You will not find in this book a one way is the right way mentality.  But on the flip side the book is specific enough to get anyone started on the process of becoming simple. 

Every church is in a different community with a different personality and it seems as if the authors took that into account.  They are specific in places that can apply to all churches, but don’t go to far so that only certain churches in certain locations can benefit from this. 

How it pertains to Student Ministry

I know lots of student ministries that have weekly events, monthly events, annual events, and so on.  And it appears that everything is stand alone, their is no cohesion to everything.  This book has helped me rethink how I will organize my student ministry. 

If I have a very clear process of how I want to help students become disciples then that makes every other decision I make easier.  I can freely say no to everything that does not help students along on the process.  And I can say yes to everything that does.  I can put quality time and effort into only the things I say yes to.  And by saying no to things I will free students up to go be disciples.  I won’t have to compete with their schedules, and they won’t have to feel bad for missing ministry stuff because our ministry has become simple.


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