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Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less (Leadership Network Innovation Series) Paperback – February 9, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Leadership Network Innovation Series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310285674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310285670
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I've watched David's ministry now for several years and I'm convinced that what he is doing is one of the most powerful forms of church life I've ever seen. It's a testimony to the fact that size doesn't matter if the church has a God-sized mission. This book is not only worth reading but also keeping on your desk for guidance through a new paradigm of church. -- Bill Easum

About the Author

Dave Browning is the founding pastor of Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK), an eight-year-old nondenominational church with locations in twelve states and seven countries. He is a graduate of Denver Baptist Bible College (BA), Northwest Baptist Seminary (MDiv), and has completed the course work for his doctorate of ministry through Northwest Graduate School. Dave lives in Burlington, Washington, with his wife and three children. Christ the King is one of the twenty-five most innovative churches in America on a recent Outreach magazine ranking.

More About the Author

Dave Browning is a visionary minimalist and the founder of Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK). CTK is a non-denominational, multi-location church that has been noted as one of the "fastest growing" and "most innovative" churches in America by employing the K.I.S.S method: "keep it simple and scalable."

Dave's passion is to see the church grow organically and exponentially through relationships, instead of attractionally and incrementally through programming. Dave's vision is to see a prevailing multi-location church emerge that will transform the spiritual landscape. This church will convene in hundreds of small groups, with Worship Centers strategically located in every community. Since it's beginning in 1999, CTK has become a mini-movement, with locations in a number of states, countries and continents.

Prior to CTK, Dave pastored in traditional and mega-church contexts. His experiences led him to become a pastorpreneur and to break many of the rules of the established church, including "bigger is better." A scion of simplicity, Dave coined the phrase "deliberate simplicity" to describe a new equation for church development, where less is more, and more is better.

Dave is married to Kristyn and has three children, Erika, Jenna and Daron. He lives in Burlington, Washington.

Customer Reviews

"We're not trying to dazzle people with Pixels."
Jesse P. Giglio
I thought it was a well written book and I'm very glad I took the time to read it.
Tom Peers
Great book for those looking into church planting.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William E Rice on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just finished another great offering from Leadership Network's Innovation Series, Dave Browning's Deliberate Simplicity, How the Church Does More with Less. I remember sitting at a gathering of pastors a few years back. We had just sat through a presentation on the latest "thing we should be doing." We had broken into small groups to talk about how we would be implementing this thing at our churches. I asked the very unpopular question, "If we are going to start doing this, what are we going to stop doing?" It was odd because no one seemed to even understand what I was talking about. At least in our denomination, we tend to just keep adding stuff not realizing that we are doing more and more stuff with less and less quality.

Browing gets right at the issue to set the framework that is the basis for ministry at Christ the King Community Church International. He writes early in the book, "Many how-to books for church leaders suggest things for the leaders to do (in addition to what they are already doing) to improve the effectiveness of their church." (p. 36) It is as though we don't understand the law of diminishing returns. In order to do more, we are just going to have to stop. Fortunately, and this may sound kind of harsh, most churches have plenty of things that they can stop doing that do not have a whole lot to do with their mission.

The author writes, "Activity for God can be the greatest enemy of devotion to him. That is one of the reasons we try to prune the activity branches at CTK [Christ The King], so God has our time and attention." (p. 102) As a person who is still fairly new to church (I have only been a Christian about 11 years) it occasionally looks like a bunch of movements and ideas just piled on top of each other.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Merritt on April 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Deliberate Simplicity walks you through one church's (Christ the King Community Church or CTK) ministry model. it offers lots of wisdom and challenges to some of the traditional thinking of what makes up a church and what the church should be about.
I am the Pastor of a Church Plant that is attempting to be simple in our programming and style while being very intentional in our mission. This book was good for our Board to go through to help us evaluate and process our direction.

The reader should understand that they are reading about one church's ministry model that they may or may not agree with. However, it should offer a check to business as usual for many pastors and church leaders. Do we need to be doing the things we are doing? What should we be doing that we are not?

My only criticism is the structure of the book. I (and my board) found the last half to be less well organized. In my opinion, the book ended up being about 1/3 longer than it needed to be to communicate the message.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chad Oberholtzer on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've served for a number of years at a church where words like "choice" and "options" are sacrosanct. The default setting is to assume that more options on the menu will serve more people, thereby furthering God's mission in our community. And certainly the heart of this philosophy of ministry is pure and gospel-centered. But I have found that this style of church life leads to fragmentation, disorientation, confusion, waste, and frustration for so many people. And the ordinary people on the ground, charged with executing the ever-expanding ideas of the visionary leaders, are caught in a pattern of never-ending assignments to support the huge machinery of unfocused ministry. Having been one of those people and married to another one, it is utterly exhausting, unsustainable, and ultimately counterproductive.

So, I am excited for any model of church ministry that points in the direction of focus, consolidation, stream-lining, and clarity. These ideals just seem like good stewardship to me and offer a church an opportunity to be more effective for the Kingdom of God. This is where I had hoped that Browning's "Deliberate Simplicity" might deliver. And on one level, "Deliberate Simplicity" does describe a very different approach to ministry than what I've personally experienced and observed in so many other overly busy churches. Browning does describe a laser focus that emphasizes high amounts of energy in only a few directions, rather than a shrapnel-like smattering of energy in a hundred different directions. And this involves the hard leadership work of saying "no" to some very good things so that a church might correspondingly say "yes" to very few but even better things.
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By Dan Owings on August 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dave Browning is an excellent writer. Here he skillfully explains the convictions and methods that have shaped CTK. I appreciate his willingness to share his wisdom and experience while avoiding a dogmatic attitude that associates so many church growth books. As someone who is about to plant a church I was very encouraged and feel that much of the wisdom in this book was vital in my development.

Any pastor or potential pastor would be wise to avail himself to Dave's viewpoint on ministry and the church.
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