Simple church is less about gatherings and more about developing disciples who make other disciples which I write about here.
Part of that process is that we see disciples released early to active ministry and touching the lives of others.
Richard Rohr offers this confession which I have to admit to being guilty of:
After trying to teach the Gospel for over forty years, trying to build communities, and attempting to raise up elders and leaders, I am convinced that one of my major failures was that I did not ask more of people from the very beginning. If they did not turn outward early, they tended never to turn outward, and their dominant concern became personal self-development, spiritual consumerism, church as “more attendance” at things, or to use the common phrase used among Christians “deepening my relationship with Jesus” (most of which demands little accountability for what you say that relationship is).
Jesus’ disciples learned while doing. He discipled them on-the-job using the age-old practice represented by the diagram: I do you watch, I do you help, You do I help, You do I watch. Disciples were apprenticed from the start rather than classroom educated and held back until they ‘knew enough.’
By engaging and employing disciples early on, we can begin to see a whole new generation of outward-facing, disciple-reproducing, world-impacting followers. And such empowered and released disciples are at the core of an unleashed and relevant church.