Church planting

10 hurdles to overcome in making the transition from legacy to simple church

If the Lord shows you that you are to make the transition from legacy to a network of simple/organic churches, there are a number of obstacles to overcome. (This post assumes you are in a position of church leadership.)

  1. Many people in your church do not share your vision for the transition. It’s not what they signed up for. As the parable of the wineskins says, “they think the old was better.”
  2. People are scared they will lose the friendships and sense of community  that’s been created over the years.
  3. People are used to a professional standard of church: a worship band, well-prepared sermon etc.
  4. There is no Sunday school program in simple/organic church. People enjoy the freedom to drop their kids off for an hour or so and having some thinking/spiritual time for themselves.
  5. People like decisions being made for them. They don’t want to carry the personal responsibility entailed in simple/organic church.
  6. There are no trained leaders.
  7. How can you prevent heresy?
  8. There is no vision for outreach.
  9. Some of the people who are keen for the transition are the ones disgruntled with the status quo. They will take a negative attitude with them.
  10. The financial welfare of your family depends on the church paying you a salary. You aren’t trained for any other job. What will happen to you?

These are all very valid concerns. It’s worth thinking through the potential problems before embarking on the transition.

What other hurdles can you think of that will need to be overcome?

14 replies on “10 hurdles to overcome in making the transition from legacy to simple church”

Great point, John. There will need to be a very deliberate choice involved here. Which might bring me to another hurdle, that’s it’s more difficult, especially in a smaller network, to send out missionaries.

I find this what you stated as being carnal having the milk with no meat ot eat as paul tried through out 1 Cor to explain to them and this type of unskilled thing is going on all around us. maybe 1 cor 3:1 on might help but only f they are looking why they are stagnant, I really do not know, but I see the flesh and blood (carnality) in the way. I am still seeking and eschewing carnality, yet it is all around me inside and outside today as has been from thr day of Adam and Eve

We are going through this. We didn’t transition the legacy church. I was on staff but not the lead pastor. We loved the people in the legacy church but sensed God leading us out to start organic churches. It was hard for the family initially. There was some feeling of betrayal as many didn’t understand and backed away from us. It was hard for our young children that to begin with missed the connection with kids their age… but I don’t regret it. We have connected to pre-christians that we never had time to connect with and connecting with people that would never fit in the legacy church we were a part of …. been a lot of planting seeds but are anticipating a great time of harvest. 

Dave, I love the fact that you didn’t leave the legacy church for negative reasons but because the Lord was leading you clearly. And also the fact that you are reaching out to not-yet-believers. There’s no better way to start a simple church! I look forward to hearing more of your story as you see the harvest you long for.

Great list, Felicity.  In transition now with our Chowchilla, CA group.  After many months / years of pondering and discussion we move out of our mainline denomination church building  (with the denomination’s understanding, peace,  and even blessing.   Thank you Lord!)  All items on your list have come up within in myself or our group (of 20-30).    Thank you for your “Getting Started” training series and for Rabbits and Elephants.   John

John, thank you for  your encouragement. I love the fact that you are moving with your denomination’s blessing. That’s huge, and will be a great strength to you in the time to come. I’d love you to keep in touch as to what happens on the journey, and if there’s anything I/we can do to help, let us know.

Thanks, Felicity,

My son and daughter-in-law, Seth and Lisa Parker, live in Round Rock.   They came to one of your house meetings, may be at your daughter’s, a few month’s ago.  Seth told me and I said What!!???  They are famous in the HC world!!!! 🙂  Thanks for being so accessible.  John White has been that way too!  I’ll let you and Tony know next time I come to RR.   Three of my adult children are in the Austin area, the fourth is in Flower Mound by Dallas. 

I’m in John’s Foundations 1 course led by Sean Hyatt,  and with my Central Cal CO2 brother, Mike.  We are really enjoying it.

Yes, will keep you posted, Felicity.  Thank you for asking me to do so.   


P.S. My blog is at if you wish to subscribe or RSS.  Or Like on  I think I’m following you on twitter. Please follow me there if you like at simplechurch4u.

oops! We move out June 30th.  I’m taking an early retirement.  And individuals are making their own choices (at least that’s what we hope for and encourage). Your prayers are appreciated.

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