Friday, April 21, 2006

Neil Cole on "Organic Church"

I think Organic Church is a book I want to pick up. Here are some quotes that are posted on the House Church blog.

On Tranformation:
Church attendance, however, is not the barometer of how Christianity is doing. Ultimately, transformation is the product of the Gospel. It is not enough to fill our churches; we must transform our world. Society and culture should chance if the church has been truly effective. (Intro)

The measure of the Church’s influence is found in society-on the streets, not in the pews. (Intro)

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. (intro)

On Reaching Others:
Instead of bringing people to church so that we can then bring them to Christ, let’s bring Christ to people where they live. We may find that new church will grow out of such an enterprise, a church that is more centered in life and the workplace, where the Gospel is supposed to make a difference. What will happen if we plan the seed of the Kingdom of God in the places where life happens and where society is formed ? (intro)

If you want to win this world to Christ, you are going to have to sit in the smoking section. That is where lost people are found and if you make them put their cigarette out to hear the message they will be thinking about only one thing: “When can I get another cigarette?” (intro)

On the Core Message:
Everything about church begins and ends with the single question: Who is Jesus to you? Jesus statement about the church has a context that begins with God’s grace revealing the identity of Jesus and ends with the work of Christ on the cross and His awesome resurrection three days later. Even if we get everything else right but skip this important question, we are not truly the church. Church begins with Jesus: who he is and what He has done. It is all about Jesus, and if it begins to be about something else, then it stops being the church as Jesus mean it to be. (7)

On "The Church":
“We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple.” If Church is simple enough that everyone can do it and is made up of people who take up their cross and follow Jesus at any cost, the result will be church that empower the common Christian to do the uncommon works of God. (27)

The conventional church has become so complicated and difficult to pull off that only a rare person who is a professional can do it every week. Many people feel that to lower the bar of how church is done is close to blasphemous because the Church is Jesus' expression of the Kingdom on earth…This results in a passive church whose members come and act more like spectators than empowered agents of God’s kingdom. (27)

Many a church continues long after the soul of the church has departed because the building itself keeps them going. A building can become an artificial life support system that keeps a church alive even though it died long ago. (37)

When you imagine the amount of resources, energy and time invested in a service held only one day a week, it is remarkable. With all the importance placed on this event, you would expect there to be a lot of scriptural directives to make sure people get it right. But if you search all of the New Testament looking for the commands or injunctions having to do with this important weekly event, you will find them sadly missing. Instead you will find verses, chapters, and entire books that speak to how we are to live together as a spiritual family (40)

We have come to understand Church as this: the presence of Jesus among His people called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission on this planet. (53)

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