In yesterday's post I talked about the 6 signs of being stuck in the "more is more" program mindset called "Walmart thinking." The solution to this common ministry problem is to develop a simple strategy for your church designed to connect people to Jesus and to others. Having a simple strategy promotes and protects the big picture of disciple-making. It also enables the church to live in a "less is more" reality. Think Starbucks not Walmart. 

If you are reading my blog, you have probably figured out that it is one thing to talk "simple church" and quite another thing to execute it.  Long before Thom Rainer decided to publish his student's research project (His student was Eric Geiger and the book was Simple Church) the Auxano team had been working with a wide variety of churches to develop and maintain a simple disciple-making strategy.

What have we learned? Simplifying around discipleship requires ruthlessly consistent communication

The single greatest tool for ruthless consistency is what we call the Missional Map (mMap). The mMap is picture that shows how the church will accomplish its mission at the broadest level.  Just imagine if every regular attender's experience at your church was saturated with a picture that points to discipleship. What if this picture trumped everything else in church communication? The benefits would be huge.


  1. Connect the mission with a  few "best" ministries

  2. Present Jesus and guide people toward life change in Him

  3. Remove complexity and clarify a pathway of involvement

  4. Limit time "at church" to release people to "be the church"

  5. Filter which ministry ideas fit best and which ones don't fit 

  6. Build a climate of invitation that encourages new commitment

  7. Shape a culture of Christ-following over program-consuming 

The daily work of discipleship is hard and messy work. So why not limit all the random, attention-draining and resourcing-depleting moving parts of your church that keep you from getting the basics done. Why not highlight the best ministries you can offer and show how they relate to each other for the purpose growing people in Jesus and for His mission in the world. This post is adapted from page 150 of Church Unique. To learn more about developing a Missional Map for your church, contact me through Auxano.