Written by Tom, an All Nations missionary in Asia, before his family went to the field in summer 2022
Simple church is a method of gathering together for worship, Bible study, and fellowship that we learned from All Nations. It is intended to be simple, reproducible, and transferable. We usually start by sharing briefly about our weeks, what we’re thankful for, and any challenges we’ve faced. Then we look at a Bible passage, and to help us learn it we draw it out.
After that we ask three questions:
- What does this passage teach us about God/Jesus?
- What does this passage teach us about ourselves?
- How do we obey this passage?
Then we pray for one another.
The details can change, but the point is to keep it simple, straightforward, and able to be learned by anyone. I’ve especially found using pictures to teach the Bible to be quite effective. Hand-drawn visuals are typically more inviting, engaging, and understandable than blocks of text, especially for kids. In the neighborhood we’ve been ministering in, we’ve found that even teenagers sometimes cannot read well. But when we use pictures, they are able to not only understand the passage, but retell it!
It’s really been amazing to see these boys do church with us, draw their own Bible stories, retell and learn from them, and pray. Often our simple church times are messy and chaotic, with young children including two toddlers, plus one of the boys who has a form of autism and can sometimes be difficult.
But in the midst of this, we’ve been finding that they actually get it—they are really learning about God and increasing in faith! Not only that, but we’re growing in our love for one another as we fellowship and play together.
It’s really been a remarkable experience and it makes me excited for Asia, where we will be teaching others to also reach communities and plant churches.
Partner with us to train more believers like Tom who will make Jesus known to their neighbors – and some, to unreached people groups. Join us to make Jesus known across the street and around the globe at our annual fundraiser dinner. Further Together 2022: Making Jesus Known, is on September 16, 2022!
Interested in getting equipped yourself to make Jesus known? Check out our Catalyze or Church Planting Experience (CPx) training to learn about the practical method Tom described to lead his simple church! Our Pocket Guide to Church Planting (free download!) also describes this method. Also check out our full list of Upcoming Trainings.