Five Oaks Survival Manual - Simplicity and Priorities

A few years ago a book was published called Simple Church based on research done on some of the most effective churches in the U.S. The conclusion was that most of them kept things focused and simple. I learned a lot from that book, but the reality is that we have been practicing simple church principles for my entire time at Five Oaks. In fact, we felt the need a couple of years ago to encourage small, targeted ministries that offer training, fellowship and ministry opportunities around common interests, needs or callings because we were a bit too simple.

But we're still simple--focused on priorities and our mission. We don't want people to come to the church building three or four times a week for Christian activities. We want our church out making a difference in the world and building relationships with people from from God. So our ministry focuses on five key areas. We say "no" to a lot of good things so we can do the most important things most effectively.

  • Worship Services: This is the primary entry point to our church whether we plan it to be or not. It just is. It's also the ministry that impacts the most people, so we place a very high priority on the weekends.
  • Small Groups: This is the core of who we are and what we do. Small groups are our primary place for building relationships, partnering in ministry, studying the Bible and caring for our congregation.
  • Children's Ministry: Here we partner with parents to help their kids come to know Christ, grow in a knowledge of God and grow in deeper love with him.
  • Student Ministries: Middle school and high school years are hard on our students faith. We partner with parents to keep their kids growing through these years. But they are also great years of opportunity. Our students serve in our Children's Ministry, reach their friends for Christ and also make a local and global for Christ.
  • Impact Ministry: This is our ministry focused on demonstrating the Kingdom of God locally and globally and on bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth.