Redemption Bible Church is designed around a straitforward and strategic process meant to move people into what we believe are the essential rhythms of discipleship - Worship. Community. Mission. For us, this means we have one program assigned to each of these rhythms - Worship Gatherings. Community Groups. Missional Teams. No men's ministry. No women's ministry. No Awana. No singles ministry. No grown men who read comic books living at home into their 40's working at that creepy store in the mall that sells Dungeon and Dragons figurines ministry, either...just in case you were wondering.
While there is no shortage of things, even good things, churches CAN do, there is only a small number of things churches MUST do. We've opted to only do the things we must do. Here are five reasons why.
1. It's Biblical
We've spent a good portion of time examining the New Testament and believe these three rhythms of discipleship are not optional. If you don't worship Jesus, you're not a Christian. If you're not living in Biblical community, you're not a healthy Christian. If you're not on mission, you're not living like a Christian. The disciple's life MUST be marked by these three rhythms.
2. It's Reproducible
We have a vision for both church planting and multi-site ministry. The simplicity of our strategy makes replication with consistency much more plausible.
3. It's Affordable
It costs money and requires staff to run most programs. Both of these realities translate into a much heavier financial burden on the church. By eliminating programming we have also been able to control our costs and produce a higher quality in the few things we do.
4. It's sustainable
Programs require a tremendous amount of focus, attention, and energy to maintain. Eliminating non-essential programming has allowed us to focus our energy in only the most fruitful areas.
5. It's intentional
Discipleship doesn't happen on accident. It requires a strategic process and a plan. Jesus' process involved clear invitation, investment, and commissioning. Your plan may differ from our plan, but in the absence of a clear plan for disciple-making you find malnourished Christians.
Like most churches we started off doing far too much. We've had to prune programming, but by God's grace, have seen great fruit in the process. Are you doing too much? Is your process clear? Do your people know how to take their next step? Make no mistake, it's our responsibility as pastors and church planters to insure that a strait forward process exists to plug people in the life of our churches. So, if you don't have that, it may be time to simplify.