What does it look like for a simple church leader to live out the core values identified by the Simple Church Alliance? Here are some thoughts (WARNING: Think of the picture painted below as a picture of who God is calling us to be as leaders–not a picture of where we are now or where you need to be to start leading a simple church. I’m not sure I know anyone who fits this description perfectly)
Community – When a simple church leaders think of their “church family” they think of their simple church community. They focus on a few in order to have a large impact–much in the same way Jesus did. They are vulnerable and transparent with those in their simple church community. They pray and care for those in their community out of an overflow of Jesus’ love—not out of expectation. Deep community is always being experienced with even a select few (two or three of same gender) in the context of a Life Transformation Group. They also seek opportunities to experience mutual encouragement from other simple church communities a part of the Simple Church Alliance.
Multiplication – Everything simple church leaders do is with multiplication in mind. They simplify in order to multiply. They seek to multiply themselves by actively engaging others and inviting them into a relationship where discipleship occurs (LTG’s). They expect God to bring people into their lives and into their simple church that they can help to begin new simple church communities. They encourage everyone to always be thinking of how they might begin a new simple church within their circle of influence.
Mission – Simple church leaders see the Great Commission as something in which they are to be personally involved. They are not content with attending meetings, but long to be a part of making disciples (baptizing new believers and teaching them to obey). In most cases this involves radically reorienting their life so that they can live as a “missionary” here. They help keep this mission before those in their simple church so that they do not become inward focused.
Priesthood of All Believers. Simple church leaders consider themselves “ministers” regardless of education, title, or occupation. They empower others in the body of Christ to see themselves as ministers as well–able to serve the Lord’s Supper, teach from God’s Word, pray, sing, and perform other roles in the church. They work to make sure that the simple church gathering is an open and participatory meeting that is encouraged by all the gifts God has given to His people.
Biblical Truth. Simple church leaders consider the Bible as the authority on all matters. They read the Bible regularly and are held accountable to obeying it by those in their Life Transformation Group (LTG). They don’t claim to be the source of truth, but believe that the Bible is. They believe that the Holy Spirit can teach anyone Biblical truth by simply reading God’s Word.