Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens

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This book also compels me to want to use our small groups as the initial insertion point for unbelievers as opposed to Sunday Morning Worship as it is done now. This book has given me many things to think about regarding this process; however, further research on my end will be necessary before making this change. Biblical and Ministerial Weaknesses: I do believe this book has some significant weaknesses as well as some textual concerns that I believe need further explanation.

From a biblical perspective, I am mostly concerned with his concept that one must wipe the dust off of our feet when we encounter people that are not interested in what we have to say. How does one know when to give up on someone? Also, I am curious how this and other concepts such as this are taught to new church leaders. Neil Cole seems to take issue with things as simple as study Bibles.

It is true that most people can figure out what most passages mean on their own; however, why not utilize the knowledge of scholars who have studied these texts for many years of course they can misinterpret as well? This leads to another weakness of the model. If there are no mature Christians within many or most of these organic church plants, it seems as though a baby church with no mentoring is a prime target for misinterpretations, cults like Mormonism , and the blending of Christianity with whatever beliefs one had before conversion.

Lastly, the Organic Church model does not provide tools for the traditional church to implement any of these ideas. Jun 05, Michael Eckhardt rated it it was ok. There's a certain sort of book written by someone who has had great success in their field, but who is not necessarily the best teacher. I like these books because there are going to be some truly valuable insights of the type that you can only get from a true practitioner, and because they always have some great stories to tell. This is certainly true of Organic Church, and I'm glad I read it for those reasons.

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I was inspired and entertained, and the stories he shared of people discovering Jesus There's a certain sort of book written by someone who has had great success in their field, but who is not necessarily the best teacher. I was inspired and entertained, and the stories he shared of people discovering Jesus through a local house church were really awesome.

And there are also some genuine insights into modern church culture that were worth hearing. On the other hand, I have two major knocks on the book: 1. Cole comes across as though he has a chip on his shoulder towards traditional church. I just don't like running across that sort of thing because 1 none of us would be Christians were it not for the church and 2 it's hard to trust someone's teaching when they seem to have such an obvious bias.

I just didn't like his way of proving his points, in spite of the fact that I found myself largely in agreement with his conclusions. For instance, he regularly employed two types of arguments that I really hate. The first is the argument of the following form: A1: bold statement A2: several scripture verses that are consistent with A1 but don't really prove it.

A3: See, A1 is scriptural, how are you guys missing this? Or alternatively, the second form of argument: A1: some aspect of life esp. A2: extended metaphor for A1 A3: because x is true of the metaphor, it is also true of A1. Both of those types of arguments drive me crazy. There's just way too much wiggle room which will allow you to always come up with an argument to support your predetermined conclusion. Even when I mostly agree with the conclusion this irresponsible style of argument drives.

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In sum, I kept feeling as I was reading it that there are things worth saying here, but surely someone somewhere else has said them better? Sep 16, Allison rated it it was amazing. A question that stuck out to me in the book was: Am I allowing myself to be in situations where Jesus has to show up lest His reputation be ruined? If I do put myself in those situations mentioned in the question, then I have to not care about my reputation, otherwise I might take back control.

This book challenged my idea of what church was and gave evidence of how Go A question that stuck out to me in the book was: Am I allowing myself to be in situations where Jesus has to show up lest His reputation be ruined? This book challenged my idea of what church was and gave evidence of how God was using people in a mighty way outside of traditional church.

Apr 18, Patrick Porras rated it liked it Shelves: planting. Love the heart. Love the desire to be friends of sinners. Love the compelling call for we, the church, to go. But calling a small group of people who meet at a coffee shop for some Bible reading a church is probably not okay. I get that NT brothers and sisters just oikos'd it, but Cole's model would be better and more effective if he called these gatherings communitt groups and each CG was connected to the same local church with elders, preaching, and the sacraments.

Nov 12, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: church-planting. Apr 15, Floyd rated it really liked it. Loved the main concept of planting churches where people are--in coffee houses, homes, etc. Apr 20, Alec Brunson rated it really liked it. Interesting and challenging read for church planters and those interested in planting a church! Dec 08, Benjamin rated it it was amazing Shelves: christian-living , missional , church.

It has given me some new concepts and ideas to employ. Aug 09, Caleb rated it it was amazing. Challenged me to think more biblically about the church and what real community looks like. God is calling us to an adventure of building His kingdom if we are up for the challenge.


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Nov 19, John Henry rated it liked it Shelves: my-library. Neil Cole is founder and Executive Director of Church Multiplication Associates, which began in fostering and serving organic church movements and the network he founded called Awakening Chapels. I first connected with Neil in when he and I were both asked to consult the leaders of the Campus Transformation Network.

Thesis: This book is an appeal to Christians to go where life happens to connect with the disaffected people who would not otherwise come to church. Cole presents more than a consistent organic theme as he outlines his story and the story of a movement of simple, reproducible churches, he argues that the very nature of the church is organic and must therefore contain within the smallest grouping the complete DNA for reproduction.

To the degree that you hold purpose and principles in common among you, you can dispense with command and control. Jul 30, Mark Lickliter rated it liked it. Organic Church was a good book about ideas for evangelism, but not a book I'd recommend for conducting a serious, biblical, and theologically sound, ecclesiology. Let me first discuss the good ideas and shared passion that Cole communicates in his book. Clearly, Cole has a passion for evangelism. He shares story after story about all of the hurting people what Cole calls "good soil" of the world that the organic churches have impacted.

The stories are inspiring and encouraging, especially to th Organic Church was a good book about ideas for evangelism, but not a book I'd recommend for conducting a serious, biblical, and theologically sound, ecclesiology.

Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)

The stories are inspiring and encouraging, especially to those who share Cole's vision for churches and mission. Cole also is not prone to "seeker sensitive" techniques and gimmicks that never really work anyway.

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Cole even poses a couple intriguing questions, "How far will we go to get people to come to our Sunday worship show? How much will we compromise to gain attendance? Cole also rightly doesn't want to waste time on unproductive members who have no interest in growing or engaging in mission. He wants to instead focus on the hurting and poor, what he calls the "good soil", instead of the self-sufficient American who has no felt need for Jesus. I tend to agree with him here, so he gets an "Amen! However, Cole is intensely biased towards the institutional church, and has an unbiblical and short-sighted view of Christ's Church.

Cole states, "It is not the local church that will change the world; it is Jesus. Attendance on Sundays does not transform lives; Jesus within their hearts is what changes people. Cole's standard is experience and transformed lives, not a model given to us from Scripture. Cole states again toward the end of the book, "The churches birthed out of transformed lives are healthier, reproductive, and growing faster.

It is about this: a life changed, not about the model. Never forget that. Cole bases his model, not on the didactic literature of the New Testament that addresses specifics regarding church government and structure, but on a few parables that do not even speak to the topic. Cole fails to discuss the positive and Scriptural role of Elders and Deacons in the Church. Cole constantly dismisses model as in his comment above as a man-made thing. However, Scripture does address model, Church government, and structure. Cole just doesn't deal with the biblical data on these issues. This was an inspiring book on his experience with taking the gospel to a variety of contexts, but it was severely lacking sound biblical exegesis and discussion on what model is biblical.

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Cole is biased towards his model even while he thinks he rejects models , and dislikes the ones he thinks are not working. We should be faithful to Jesus and His Scriptures in their entirety, not excited about what seems to be working at the time. Perhaps many of his "stories" and "experiences" will later be proven failures. There is no follow-up documented in the book. Either way, we need to let all of Scripture determine our doctrine of the Church, not just our favorite passages on evangelism.

Feb 26, Trevor rated it it was amazing. An inspiring book about being authentic Christians in everyday, ordinary situations in one's community. Dec 16, Kelly Zens rated it really liked it. This is a good book and has many important things to say. It gives a basic blueprint for simple church. The stories are interesting and Neil Cole is very honest and authentic. I expect that will change in the next several years as he experiences organic church.

Jesus really is capable of growing his own church and he really does have a plan. All we have to do is follow him. T This is a good book and has many important things to say. This is a great book, though.

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