CHURCH MODEL ANALYSIS 7
Whenthe term Christian church is used as a noun, mainly it refers toentire Christian religious tradition. Majority of Christians aremembers of groups, which consider themselves as one true church.These groups are Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental OrthodoxCommunion, and Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, some Christiansidentify Christian Church with certain visible structure, while otheridentifies Christian Church as an invisible reality that cannot beidentified with an earthly structure. The church classificationsdefine religions that embrace religious expression in the society.These types of religions are referred to as guardians of religion formembers of societies where they are located and they do not allowreligious competition. Christian Church strives to offer anall-encompassing global view for their members and it is entangledwith economic and political structures of society. The church claimuniversality that is it includes all members of society in theirranks, and it has great tendency link ‘citizenship’ with‘membership’(Ronald, 2009).
InHis own wisdom and knowledge, God created the world with a purposefulpredetermined knowledge of what He wanted the world to be. To furtherHis kingdom here on earth, He placed man at the helm of this earthwith a clear mandate to take care of it. However, the main purpose isso that we may worship Him in the beauty of His holiness in thefellowship of other believers in a local church. A church leader whois mandated with immense responsibilities heads every local church.These responsibilities include equipping the church for the work ofministry that is to preach the gospel to the lost. This discussionwill attempt to scrutinize how the model church is analyzed in thebook Simple Church: Returning to God’s Simple Process of MakingDisciples, written by Eric Geiger and Thom S. Rainer, including otherbooks effective for this study (Rainer & Geiger 2006).
Theanalysis of this book is based on in-depth studies on churches inAmerica, four hundred of them. In their studies, they conclude thatthe modern mega churches have created a complex network of makingdisciples that do not work well. Nonetheless, this book is aimed athelping church ministers and believers in general, to evaluate thechurch processes that drive people into spiritual maturity. Equally,the book contains very informative suggestions on how one can improvethe church process so that there can be sustainableachievements(Ronald, 2009).
Anychurch that has a simple and clear process of making disciples haspotential of making a bigger impact in the world. The process isalways simple, where church programs are organized in a manner thatthe process of making disciples is simple and clear for any member ofthe church to follow through (Getz et al., 2010). Every minister isunited in this process, and key programs are organized to accomplishthis endeavor. However, Rainer and Geiger (2006) advise on droppingsome of the programs that do not contribute to the success of thedisciple-making mission.
AsRainer and Geiger (2006) observe the four hundred churches inAmerica, they make clear observations that complex churches employprograms that make them anemic and struggling. On the other hand,they observe that churches that have a simple process for maturingand reaching people perform better in furthering the kingdom thancomplex churches. This simply means that the church performs betterwhen its processes are kept simple. To support this idea, the bookanalyzes four things that contribute to the success of the simplechurch process. These are Alignment, Clarity, Focus, and Movement.
Theidea of clarity is better achieved through effective communicationfrom the leader and making sure that every member of the churchunderstands, with clarity, so that they can be able to make theirindividual contribution. Movement is the steps that are because ofthe set programs that allow people to graduate into areas of morecommitment. Here, the flow of movement is created in making sure thatno one remains stagnant in the process of making disciples. Alignmentpertains to the arrangement of staff and relevant ministries, wherethe movement of the entire church is made to go into the rightdirection. On the other hand, focus is whereby everything else thathappens to derail the church process is done away with. This makessure that the church does not loose direction (Rainer & Geiger,2006).
Asimple church encourages people to grow and become more like Christ.It is the desire of God to transform people so that they cantransform the world (Getz et al., 2010). Individual transformation iseffective in a simple church that is easy to manage and guide people.On the other hand, churches that are hybrid are very hard tostructure in a way that ensures growth, commitment, and participationof every member. It becomes hard, in a hybrid church, to come up withstrategic planning that is workable and that encourages individualgrowth and participation. Everything becomes complex andunmanageable, thereby decreasing the level of growth on individualbases.
Asimple church is one that understands that individual spiritualgrowth is of the essence in making sure that people’s lives arechanged (McGavran& Wagner, 2009). The bottom line is to make surethat lives are changed with the goal of achieving the intendedresults. There is also, the understanding that every individualmember is at a different spiritual journey, where they are handleddifferently in the process of maturing into effective believers.Moreover, church leaders ensure that they create opportunities formembers where they can grow in and become mature spiritually. Thisenables people to go through various stages of spiritual growth thatis of the essence in making sure that every member is well equippedfor the work of ministry (Towns & McIntosh, 2009).
Myindividual mission is to make sure that I grow into becoming aneffective disciple, where am able to make other disciples and teachthem into the ways of Christ. In addition, growing daily to becomemore and more like Christ is an endeavor that I aspire to achieve.This is my daily quest, where my conviction is that as I becomemature in Christ, I am in a position to make disciples, therebyfulfilling the call that is upon every believer of making disciplesand training them into the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.Nonetheless, dying daily as is suggested in the book Simple Church,remain a big challenge(Rainer & Geiger, 2006).
Lookingat chapter, five in the book Simple Church, there are questions thathelp to understand the church one is in. In my church, the model is asimple church, where the structures therein are designed to makedisciples that are effective in the work of ministry. Everyone isenabled to mature spiritually in programs that create opportunitiesfor this growth. In response to question two, there is a well-definedprocess of growth, where bible study is given precedence. There arelevels of bible study where every individual is catered for dependingon the level of one’s spiritual maturity. Weekly programs enableeach to have opportunities that one can exhibit their gifts, thereby,developing one’s gift(McGavran& Wagner, 2009).
Inquestion three, the illustration that is commonly used in relatingspiritual growth is maturity. This is measured by one’s commitmentto the goal of the church and the understanding of the things of God.In question four, the success of our church is measured by individualgrowth of every member into a disciple who can disciple others intobecoming more and more like Christ. This means that every memberbecomes mature in Christ and is ready to make disciples, once one hasbeen made a disciple(Towns & McIntosh, 2009).
Townsand McIntosh (2009) observes that an organic church remains to be thebest form in that it remains unspoiled by human perceptions,misinterpretation of scripture, and individual opinions. In thischurch, believes are encouraged to walk with Christ, perfecting theirways in Him. Nonetheless, a hybrid church may not possess theindividual understanding of being a disciple because of thecomplexity that it has. Its organization is so complex that itbecomes hard to structure the church in a way that can encourageindividual growth, or creating opportunities for each member to grow.
Getz,G. A., Wall, J. L., &Zuck, R. B. (2010).Effectivechurch growth strategies.Thirdedition.Nashville, Tenn: Word Pub.
McGavran,D. A., & Wagner, C. P. (2009). Understandingchurch growth.Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans.
Rainer,T. S., & Geiger, E. (2006). Simplechurch: Returning to God`s process for making disciples.Nashville, Tenn: Broad man Press.
Towns,E. L., & McIntosh, G. (2009). Evaluatingthe church growth movement: 5 views.Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan.
Ronald,J. L. (2009). Religionin Society: Sociology of Religion Value Pack with Mysearchlab.New York: Routledge.