• Richard Parrish

Brilliance In Simplicity



Are you inclined to make things more complicated than necessary?


In full disclosure: I’ve spent too much of my life overthinking, re-doing, and complicating matters, rather than embracing simplicity. Perhaps that behavior is spurred by a deep sense of inadequacy. [See The Gift of Insecurity, here]


Have you ever wondered why at the end of Jesus’ ministry on this earth he only had 12 disciples (committed followers) he could trust to carry on his mission?


You would think that being the Son of God, Jesus would have developed an extravagant, complex outline of how to build His church.


However, Jesus sees the value of simplicity.


Although his methodology did not contribute to the immediate establishment of a “mega-church” in his three years of ministry on earth, the brilliance of his process fueled the spreading of the gospel throughout the world!


It surprises me how quick we are to want to discover the latest and greatest model to advance the mission of Jesus.


I hear from pastors of smaller churches lament because their church lacks the budget to purchase multi-media technology.


Pastors and church leaders of larger congregations complain because it is an on-going challenge to keep up with the advancement of technology to attract new people to their churches.


Complicated systems and new technology have yet to improve upon the modest brilliance of Jesus’ method:


Be a disciple, make disciples, and reach the world.


In an era when it seems that the church is in decline, perhaps it would be to our advantage to return to the simple basics that Jesus modeled for his disciples.


His process isn’t all that glamorous, and it requires us to avoid taking shortcuts to success. His model is still necessary – and useful.


For each of us in leadership, our primary responsibility is to be in a lifelong relationship with Jesus; not discover innovative and quick methods to grow the church. Being a disciple requires that we be with him (Mark 3:14).


I’m not opposed to using technology to further the Kingdom of God. Nor am I insensitive to becoming more effective in communicating the gospel to our culture.


However, when the “latest and greatest” dominate our focus, it’s a sure sign we’ve lost sight of our first priority: To be a disciple so that we can make disciples.


Reaching others with the good news of Jesus is still the fruit of discipleship.