05 February 2022
Leadership 101: The Central Way
“Simple Church” Book Review
1. I read % of the book
I read 100% of the book
2. What is the author’s main purpose in writing this book?
The author’s purpose is to explain that a simple church isn’t easy as being in leadership is extremely challenging, but to chisel down the church’s focus so the design of ministry is simplified. Reiner and Geiger begin the book with reference to Jesus being the “revolutionary.” Jesus is asked about which are the two greatest commandments and he responded to love God and love people. “He was not lowering the standard of the Law. He was not abolishing it. He is capturing all its spirit, all of its essence, in one statement. He summed up 613 commands in two. Jesus took the complexity and the advancement of the Law and made it very simple” (Reiner & Geiger, 17). The author’s make it clear from the beginning that the church is just the vessel to one simple truth and that is a relationship with God. It is the way the church fosters that relationship is what matters so as a church it is essential to reflect on words such as clarity, movement, alignment, and focus.
“A simple church is designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. The leadership and the church are clear about the process (clarity) and are committed to executing it. The process flows logically (movement) and is implemented in each area of the church (alignment). The church abandons everything that is not in the process (focus)” (Reiner & Geiger, 68).
3. What was the most helpful part of this book/article and why?
One part of the book I found helpful is how the author’s asked if I was a travel agent or a tour guide. The tour guide is invested in the journey and makes it personal with knowledgeable authority so is much more credible than just the travel agent. I want to take people along side me in the journey of not just introducing Jesus, but to also spiritual growth. Another part was how the unity of the church reflects on the world as it has the attention of the world. “People are attracted to unity. Jesus said earlier that all people would know we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another” (Reiner & Geiger, 168). The author’s write about how people can ruin God’s plan so I need to remove myself from gossip, negativity, and dissension. That is practical advice but easy to compromise so it is important that I decide what kind of servant I want to be which is one that follows God wholeheartedly. The authors use the example of Caleb and Joshua when Moses has them scout out the promised land and they boldly promote God’s plan.
4. How do you see yourself using the information found in this book int the future?
As I decide to enter into church leadership, I can use the book to evaluate my own thoughts about how I approach the ministry process. It is important to remove anything that moves people’s attention away from our Savior, Jesus. I can use Hezekiah’s example as he “took out the godless clutter that had been competing for the attention and the affection of the people.” I need to stay focused like the church on the simple process of leading people to Christ and helping them follow his leadership.
The authors also reflect on Paul’s words to Timothy “to avoid all the godless chatter and legalistic principles surrounding him” (Reiner & Geiger, 201). Our lives are like a marathon where it is important to stay focused on the goal line and with each step to not stray as Jesus is at that finish line of life ready to welcome you into his kingdom.
5. Quotation from the book that seemed particularly important to you?
There was more than one quote that stood out to me, but weaves into God’s plot line in the Bible which is the redemption of the whole world. As a high school counselor, I am in the midst of how the secular worldview desires to remove God to create the lie of some Utopian society. Truth has no more absolutes, but is fluid that conforms to emptiness that man doesn’t need God physically, mentally, or spiritually. I think it is important to know the culture because then your church is people focused. As a leader, I do want to transform my community by engaging with lost people so they become disciples of Christ. We need to have the Christian worldview where we represent Christ in everything we do. It is the Christian world view that destroys Satan’s battle plan and brings about victory is God’s plan of redemption of all people can also be found in the garden when Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree of good and evil. God provided a provision in that of Jesus being fully God who chose to become fully human to atone for our sins. Our identity is secure in Christ. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will have eternal life”(New Application Study Bible John 3:16).
“Missional leaders love the city or town in which God has placed them” (Reiner & Geiger, 264) is the quote that stood out to me.
“Something will dominate your time if the mission of God does not dominate your heart” (Reiner & Geiger, 253” is the other quote from the book that just points to the headlines of today.
“The kingdom of God will be an influential force that the community, the city, and the culture will benefit from the presence of the kingdom of God expressed in our churches” (Reinery & Geiger, 252)
The Bible neither needs nor finds authority outside of itself. It fully contains the bill of God. It is forbidden to add or take away fro the word of God. The Bible is the only cannon of truth. “God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (Timothy 3:17). Churches need to stand up, stand strong, stand firm in Christ not allowing the division to take hold. The culture should not shape the narrative of the church. Today, so many strongholds fight for the souls of our young people. False ideologies the church must confront are: Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, Social Justice, Conflict Theory, and Gender Theory. These dangerous ideologies corrupt moral values. The challenge for churches is to not allow their influence to spread through biblical doctrines and principals.
This is why churches should keep to the simple model of the two greatest commandments. Love God and Love people so the simple church leads people to Christ and walks along side of people to grow in the likeliness of Christ into eternity.
What questions arose from your reading?
How do we stand in the gap between the church and the world?
Do we change how we present to a changing generation?
How do we inform parents of how to fight for their kid’s moral compass in public school?
Can a group be how to discuss the headlines of today?
How do we talk about hot topics like racial division?