One of the books I read while in Paris was Organic Church by Neil Cole. The basic premise of the book is that the way we do church today is quite often contrary to what Jesus taught, and that we should be “growing faith where life happens”. It was a quick read (read it in a day), here’s some thoughts…

“We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple.
[One of the goals of CMA]

“Someone once said that we shape our buildings and then they shape us.”

Cole makes this statement in one of the chapters, which reminded me of conversations we had at the Soliton sessions (here and here) last month, where I first heard this idea. It’s something I’m thinking about at the minute, I don’t think I’ve got very far with it but I’m mulling it over. I read somewhere about how one of the reasons churches need to spend so much money on buildings etc is because we have increased our need for private spaces. We no longer live with the hospitality that allows our homes and our buildings and our personal property to be used for public/corporate worship etc. What would happen if we opened ourselves up again and regained such a deep sense of community that we allowed anything of our to be used in/for church meetings? There will probably be more thoughts on this later!

“Men are looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”
[E.M. Bounds]

A reminder to live fully for Christ… nothing else matters. We pray for his will in how to build the church, for how to do so many things for him (which isn’t a bad thing), but how much time do we spend praying that God would mould us into the leaders he needs us to be? What if, for example, our churches aren’t growing because we aren’t leaders that are growing enough to shepherd them?

“Many take Christ’s words and apply them backwards. They teach that if you have position in the Kingdom of God it is important to lead as a servant. But Jesus meant us to see that those who first serve are indeed the leaders that others will follow.”

“Instead of drawing people out of community and robbing what community already existed, Jesus’ plan is to inject the Gospel into an existing community.”

This sentance is a good indication of the contents of the rest of the book – instead of creating highly engineered church environments where people can come to do life, we take church to the places the people already are.

“Many of us settle for lesser lives, for stories not worth telling.