Leadership in simple churches is very important, but it is also
very different from the leadership that you know in the world or
may have known in a more traditional church setting. Read through
Matthew 20:20-28 and study verses 25-28 using question mark,
lightbulb and arrow pattern.
Read John 13:3-17 and Ephesians 4:11-13 and discuss the
More helpful resources:
- What does leadership usually look like in the world? Think of
government, army etc.
- Does this differ from typical leadership in the Western
- What did Jesus have to say about leadership? How did He
demonstrate His leadership?
- What does it mean to be a servant or slave? What could this
look like in a church context today? Think of practical
- According to the Ephesians passage, what is the role of
leadership in the church? How could this be implemented in your
” by Roger Thoman
As Christians travel along the path of simple, organic or house
church, certain concepts totally alter the way you live or think
about and practice church. You may have already begun to experience
some paradigm shifts. Listed below are a few of the main ones.
Discuss these and any other thoughts your group has about
1. Church is genuinely “where two or three are gathered together in
His name.” Church is neither buildings nor meetings, but
relationship with Jesus and with His people. Church occurs when we
come together on a daily basis. We are church anytime we are
together in His name, not just because we are in a special building
at a special time with special people leading us. And anyone can
start a church if it’s just a few friends coming together.
2. Jesus is to be the head of his church. This is not a theory but
something to live out in practice in everyday life.
3. Simple things are reproducible, complex things are not. Many
churches want to raise the bar or create a higher standard in
leadership, teaching or worship. Simple church is about lowering
the bar and making it possible for everyone to get involved.
4. Churches are meant to multiply. Every living thing God has
created reproduces after its kind. God hates barrenness. Churches
are not meant to be sterile. There are more than 50 commands in the
New Testament that include the words “one another.’ These commands
can only be obeyed within a small group context. We need to
multiply the small, not look grow ever larger. If we are getting to
a size where these commands cannot be obeyed, it’s time to
5. The resources are in the harvest. The “person of peace”
principle means that workers for a particular segment of society
are found within that people group of subculture. It means that if
a person becomes a Christian, we do not automatically invite them
to our church. We prefer to start a church in their house with the
people in their sphere of influence. If the resources are in the
harvest, it means that our next generation of leaders may not even
be a Christians yet. We love watching a person become a Christian,
introduce their friends to Jesus, and end up leading a church under
the mentorship of a more mature believer.
6. Non-religious Christianity. Christianity is not meant to be a
rule book, a series of laws for which we are punished if we break
them. When we become Christians, God gives us new hearts of flesh
with his laws written on them. If we live from our hearts,
spontaneously, we will find ourselves living a life that is
pleasing to Him. God is not sitting up in heaven with a big stick
waiting to catch us in some sin. A life lived from the heart is
very attractive to unbelievers.
7. The priesthood of all believers. We are a Kingdom of priests (1
Peter 2:9). All the members of the body of Christ are important.
Each of us can have direct connection to our Head, Jesus. We no
longer need an intermediary to go to the throne room for us. It’s
time for the clergy/laity distinction to end. This is not mere
theological truth but needs to become a practical reality in our
lives together. When we get together, each of us is meant to take
part (1 Corinthians 14:26).
8. Leadership is servanthood. Jesus meant it when he said
leadership within His Kingdom is not like leadership in the world.
He gave us a practical example of how it should look when He washed
His disciples’ feet. Jesus literally laid down His life for others.
Our lives need to reflect his attitude of servanthood.
We are now at the end of this six-week course on organic/simple
church. We hope you have enjoyed it. Obviously there are many other
topics we could have touched on—like finances or what you do with
the kids. Hopefully, you have not only learned about the basics of
simple church, but we have also given you some tools to discover
the answers to these questions for yourselves, using the Scriptures
as your guideline.
Spend the remainder of your time praying and commissioning each
other to go out and reach your community with the good news of the
Kingdom of God. We suggest the group pray for each person
individually. Gather around the person and lay hands on them. Find
out where the Lord may be leading them. Listen to God. Tell of any
pictures, Scriptures or words of encouragement that you sense the
Lord giving you for them. Expect God to speak to and encourage each
here to return to "Getting Started."