Two Types of Thriving Churches Emerging

Over the past few years I’ve noticed a growing trend amoung thriving churches- they are either simple or Permission-Giving. Let me give two examples of what I am seeing a lot these days.

Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi, Tx is an example of a simple church. It focuses on adult, youth, and children worship, and small groups. Sure it has other ministries like multiple site and missions, but the day to day bread and butter is focused on worship and small groups. Most nights the place is vacant because so many of the people are in small groups.

Two books that extol the virtues of the simple church are Deliberate Simplicity by Dave Browning from Christ the King Church in Washington, and The Simple Church by Thom Rainer

Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas is a example of a thriving church with many ministries.  Almost every night of the week will find the place filled to capacity with a wide variety of ministries taking place. However, we should note that most of these ministries are driven by their members and not some outside group. The old “our church is the hub of the community” model where the church opens its doors and allows any and everyone to use the facilities is going the way of the wind- at least for now.

I wrote about the Permission-Church in 1995 with the publication of Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers.

However, there is one thing that both types of churches have in common – whatever they do is tied in some way to their primary mission in life. The key- they are focused on their mission to the community rather than to themselves.