Book: Organic Church

“Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens” by Neil Cole

I’ve owned this book for about 10 years and have finally got around to reading it.  I could make guesses why it took me this long to read it but probably the best and most appropriate one is that I wasn’t ready for it until now.

This isn’t your typical book on church growth and leadership or even church planting.  In fact I would say that much of what it espouses flies in the face of conventional teaching on those subjects, or at least it did.  My prayer is that since it was published there has been a return to the way Jesus produced disciples and involved them in the work of the proclaiming the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Here is the table of contents to whet you appetite.

  • Forward
  • Preface
  • Introduction

Part One: Roots of the Organic Church

  1. Ride Out with Me!
  2. Awakening to a New Kind of Church
  3. The Zombie Bride Lives!
  4. A Dangerous Question

Part Two: The Organic Nature of the Kingdom of God

  1. Kingdom 101: You Reap What You Sow…and You Eat What You Reap
  2. An Enchanted Kingdom with Magic Seeds, Fast-Growing Trees, and a Beautiful Bride to Rescue
  3. We All Begin as Zygotes

Part Three: From the Microscope to the Telescope

  1. Mapping the DNA of Christ’s Body
  2. Epidemic Expansion Starts in the Genes

Part Four: The Epidemic Kingdom and How It Spreads

  1. It Takes Guts to Care for People
  2. Me and Osama Are Close
  3. The How-To of Spreading the Epidemic

Part Five: The Call to Organic Church

  1. Falling with Style
  2. Tales That Really Mattered
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Subject Index
  • Scriptural Index

I could include many quotes from the chapters but I won’t, except for one at the end.  It would do a disservice to the author’s intent and you would miss out on the content that makes them so relevant.  I will say this about Cole’s ideas.

Far too often we have a picture of who we should be reaching with the gospel and who would be the best leaders but they are who Jesus would, or did, pick.  We have to remember that Jesus told Peter and the disciples that He would build His church on the foundation of His relation to the God the Father.  To build it on anything else will always result in failure, even when it looks like a great success.

Here is the one quote that I said I would include.  Hopefully it will inspire you to read the book and discover a new love for God’s people who make up His church and a desire to invest your life in partnering with God while He builds His church.

This is what you were born to be: a hero.  You were created for good works that have been foreordained by God to destroy evil strongholds and set captives free.  Do not settle for rusting in the harbor over the decades.  Set sail on the oceans of risk, and let God lead you to stories that are worthy of being told.

Cole, Neil. Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens. 1st ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005. Print. [Christianbook] [Amazon] [Barnes and Noble] [Alibris]