Simple things multiply; complex things are much harder to reproduce.
One of my favorite quotes from a Filipino church planter is this: Never do anything in church that a one week old Christian would be unable to duplicate.
Only model what you want to see reproduced and what will lead to multiplication. How is this worked out?
Teaching: an interactive Bible study using simple questions or symbols is more effective and reproducible than a sermon. Since many people’s greatest fear is that of public speaking, if you model a sermon, people will think they have to do this in order to start another church.
Worship: if you have music of a professional standard, people will think they have to have a musician in order to start a church. Better to sing a capella or accompanied by a CD.
Prayer: if you model 5 minute prayer sermons you will inhibit new believers from praying. Better to teach single sentence prayers and for people to pray multiple times.
Food: if you produce a gourmet meal, people will assume they have to produce a similar meal if they have church in their home. Better to have a simple, potluck meal where everyone contributes.
Fellowship: happens naturally over food.
In the church that meets in our home, we tend to use a simple pattern that anyone can reproduce. It’s not the same every time, but most of these elements are usually present. It’s based on Acts 2:42. We share a meal together. Over dessert, we talk about how things have gone during our week together–joys and challenges. Was there an accoutability challenge from the previous week? We share how that went too. We share around the Word. We pray for one another. In all of this we expect the Holy Spirit to lead our time together and we give him freedom to break in.
It’s simple enough that a new believer can copy it.
Simple is not the same as simplistic. We’ve had very profound times together. But it is duplicatable.
So Keep It Simple and Straightforward!