As a former church planter, now educator, and someone interested creating self-replicating groups, I was first intrigued by the synopsis of the book “The Rabbit and The Elephant.” which reads as follows.
If you put two elephants in a room together and close the door, in 22 months you may get one baby elephant. But two rabbits together for the same amount of time will result in thousands of baby rabbits! In The Rabbit and the Elephant, “micro church” planters Tony and Felicity Dale use the “rabbit” illustration to show the pace at which the Christian faith can (and should) be growing—through evangelism that is explosive and transformational. The Rabbit and the Elephant contains the key to 21st century evangelism—taking the gospel to where the pain and the people are.
This book tells the story of Tony and Felicity Dale’s journey toward Simple Church. In the past year, I had the opportunity to speak at their national church conference in Florida and get to see first hand that Tony and Felicity have a genuine passion for evangelistic-community.
With occasional input from coauthor and researcher, George Barna. The the Dales use the rabbit and the elephant analogy to say that smaller church is much easier to reproduce than a larger and more complex church. The Dales see themselves as fulfilling a specific call from God and as forerunners to a reformation that will be as big as Tyndale’s reformation (24). The Dale’s vision for Church is promoted through their magazine, conferences, and two websites www.simplechurch.com and www.house2house.com.
1. Jesus ministered in homes, and much of the Gospel narratives takes place in homes…2. New Testament Christians primarily met in small group or home settings…3. It is difficult to obey the commands of the New Testament in groups that are too large…4. Jesus entrusted his ministry to ordinary untrained men…5. Most aspects of ministry are better in a small setting…6. Simple churches multiply more quickly…7. Simple churches allow all the members of Jesus’ body to be fully functioning…
Please do not think this is a criticism of individual legacy churches. We personally owe a lot to the legacy churches of our formative years, and we are thrilled that two of our four adult children are seeking God with all their hearts at wonderful legacy churches. We believe that God continues and will continue to use legacy churches in remarkable ways (31).