Stopped by Barnes & Noble while I was out today because I needed to find a book. Couldn’t find what I was looking for, but I did come across a book I had been wanting to read – Simple Church. I started paging through it and after a few minutes, realized I was 40 pages into it so I decided to sit down. I was liking what I was reading…feeling a little bit of confirmation as well as being challenged about how we’ve been doing things at Discovery. To make a long story short, I sat in that chair and read the whole thing before I went home for dinner.
I really liked it and I’m glad I invested the time reading it because we’ve got a PARTnership class this weekend and I was already working on clarifying some of the stuff in there. This made that even more of a priority and also confirmed what I’d been thinking – some of who we are has been unclear. And that point was one of four main things to look for in a simple church. Clarity. How clearly defined is the disciple-making process? The other three were movement, alignment and focus.
I asked myself why we exist and what our process is. We exist to help people discover real answers for real life which lead to real opportunities. Real answers start with knowing Jesus Christ. Real life happens when people plug into an Outlet (small group). Real opportunities are where people get involved in actually doing ministry. We want people to connect with Christ (answer), the church (life) and the community (opportunities).
I get it. But I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job of relaying that to people – even our staff. It’s not part of our DNA yet and that’s not good. It’s more like our clothing – I say that’s who we are and try to “look right” but I can take it off just like my clothes. You can’t get rid of DNA – it’s part of everything in the body. I want Discovery and it’s people to be there, so I’m working on being more clear about why we exist – and how we move people through the process of becoming a growing disciple 1) know Jesus – the answer, 2) plug into an Outlet – do life with others and 3) find opportunities to serve and bring others into the process.
In my opinion, I’ve allowed too much peripheral stuff to cloud the clarity I once had. I’m praying we’ll rework our ministry alignment and sharpen our focus. As simple as is sounds, it’s hard work. I’m a people-pleaser by nature and saying “no” isn’t as easy for me as some (like David Spade in a Capital One commercial) As much as I wasn’t planning on reading a 250 page book today (I had plenty of other things to do) I’m glad I did.