At a recent simple church training, we discussed the importance of clearly communicating the values and vision of simple church. We challenged the leaders from each simple church to visualize simple church alliance. Below are a few of the images. How would you visualize simple church multiplication?
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Thanks for sharing. How very encouraging. The vision and the values of Simple Church Alliance are being wonderfully caught. Very helpful visualizations. I noticed recently again how the Scriptures often contrast and differentiate the eye and the ear — seeing and hearing; vision and hearing; vision and truly knowing. God’s Word often tells us that what we are able to see is not necessarily what we get. Often, quite the contrary. But what we truly hear God speak to us personally, that is what we do — and are able to do by faith. Consider: The inner mechanics, machinery and movements of “church” lend themselves quite easily to vision (especially for us, Americans, very practical folks, that we are). What is much more difficult to visualize or picture or graph is the togetherness, the wholeness and holiness of “church” — really, all that is wrapped up in the simple term “alliance”. Very practically, for instance, consider the question of “giving of tithes and offerings” in “alliance” together, as we hear in 2 Corinthians 9. Of course, you have already noticed how the Scriptures teach about that so practical matter, not in terms of a small group but in terms of church “alliance”, of the whole church body. The Apostle Paul writes his epistles most often not directly to home groups but to the “alliance” of Christ followers in one city after another city. That’s the evident and practical reality of the “church” in the city. Certainly when he writes about the three-fold church dynamics of the “Body” of Christ, the “Household” of the Father and the “Temple” of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:16, 19, 22) he writes specifically about the dynamic and dynamo of the whole “alliance”. And thereby he most fully expresses the mark of the Trinity of God on the church “alliance” in an entire city. Therefore, the more we build up that “alliance” — as in “all together in one place” (Acts 1:14) — the more we build up the oneness and unity which reflects the oneness and unity of our Triune God. Truly, the church is in “alliance” or it is not “church”. Paul is so exceedingly practical, isn’t he? He puts it so “right on” in 2 Corinthians 9. He writes, the proof of the church pudding is how we give “tithes and offerings”, yes, freely, but all together for needs which are not simply ours — in our little group — but of the whole and united “alliance”. That’s more than we can see, but “right on” for what we hear God’s Word say to us. The heart issue here is faith. You are therefore praying that the “alliance” budget of Simple Church Alliance be met completely and entirely by all the groups in Simple Church Alliance. When? The budget bottom line for 2012 and each monthly budget account line are clearly known and approved by all in the “alliance”. Such “all together in one place” giving truly grows the church. The question could be asked: Is you giving for an “alliance” dynamic or for small group dynamics? Do you have a city-wide call and a worldwide commission for your giving, or only a small group vision and value? Does your bottom line and do your budget accounts have faith for a city-wide call and a worldwide commission, or only for group multiplication? How much, so? Is there any reason why you, together, could not up your budget for faith pledging and giving beyond what you can see or visualize? What would it take to simply double your budget for a city-wide call and a worldwide commission? Yes, prayer. Yes, hearing God’s Word.