Related to our temptation to reinvent the wheel is the temptation to complicate Christianity and church life. We see this in the 345 definitive “definitions” of the gospel that various authors and theologians set forth every year. We see it in the enormous staffs and array of programs that turn churches into bureaucratically complex corporations. Complexity is cumbersome. It impairs mission. Especially at a time when faithful churches will be increasingly exiled from mainstream culture, we need to become leaner and more nimble. We need to rediscover the beauty of simplicity, focusing on the core practices and historic sacraments of the church. The more complicated we make the church, the less countercultural she is.
I have a natural aversion to complexity and especially to corporations. Complexity in the church repeatedly causes me to stumble, question, re-evaluate, say no and occasionally retreat.
Simplicity evokes the opposite in me.