Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Organic Church Quotes #1...

Every now and then you read a new book that opens your eyes and pricks your senses in ways that you were not prepared for. I've begun reading such a book. Neil Cole's "Organic Church" is forcing me to examine many new facets in church ministry. What I would like to do for the next few days, is, to put quotes from the book on my blog every day or so...then ask you to comment on the quote. And I would like as many that would, to make comments. What I will ask from you is that you make your comments immediately...I want your 'gut reaction' to these quotes. Don't take time to process them, respond as soon as you read it. Some of you will agree with the quotes, some will not. I just ask that you digest the information with an open mind and an open heart. I'm looking forward to YOUR thoughts. Have fun...be honest and truthful...and don't just read the post...COMMENT ON IT!

Thanks to Dave Johnston at UAM's BCM for letting me borrow the book!

...from Neil Cole's "Organic Church"

"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 change if the church has been truly effective. Is the church reaching out and seeing lives changed by the Good News of the Kingdom of God? Surely the number of Christians will increase once this happens, but filling seats one day a week is not what the Kingdom is all about. We do Jesus an injustice by reducing His life and ministry to such a sad story as church attendance and membership rolls.
The measure of the Church's influence is found in society--on the streets, not in the pews."


dean said...

do i get a prize for being first??
anyway, i wonder when our pastors and church members are going to get a clue about this. we've gotten stuck in a rut of "invite them to church and their lives will be changed." i think by and large, US going TO the people and making a difference in their lives IN THEIR WORLD first will cause them to, at some point, want to come check out whats going on inside the building. of course, when they do show up, whats going on inside the building better be God-honoring and consistent with the Christian love we've just shown them out in their world... otherwise, just install a revolving door on the front of the church building, because it wont be long before they're outta there.

Jimmy Way Out In West Texas said...

I agree whole heartedly that "Transformation" is the true measure of "how a christian is doing" not just church attendance, however if a Christian is being transformed (Which I define as being more Christ like) they will desire to praise God and worship him, they will hunger for the word of God, they will thirst for rigteousness desiring to be challenged and exhorted to go forward in the transformation process. IF the local church provides a venue for theses things with passion and excellence The Pews Will Fill!
Sadly many attend church merely by habit, living unremarkable lives during the week and hoping that a church service will somehow change that ---- We must remember that Christianity is primarily RELATIONAL, not an activity (something that we DO once a week) but a way to live.
In my opinion the traditional Baptist church has chosen to cater to the un-transformed attenders (if they are THERE everything is ok) this doesn't really work because if they are not Growing they will soon be Going.

Thanks for the quote Jim!

Drshaneknight said...

I wonder then, why among pastors when we meet, one of the first questions we asked one another is, "how many do you run in service"

Pastors, we have placed an albatross around our own necks, this is the notion that success is based on performance. In our culture performance is based upon numbers in an upward projection.

If the numbers are not positive, I am positive we will be replaced.

This is so sad, it hurts but, it is reality. It will only change when our Lord returns. Remember pastors - the Bible teaches us that these days were coming and they will onyl get worse.

We must stay true to the Lord and to the Calling - regardless!

jimmie glover said...

I defenitly agree. as i have been reading in sevral diffrent text. the purpose we have is to worship god. to see him glorified. so in that light then. numbers should not matter what should matter is the effectivness of who we are as belivers to worship him. in that worship we chose to serve others, missioins. in that mission we love all people. no matter what they look like or there background. so numbers should not matter

TJ said...

I thought I'd have something long an profound, but the reading speaks for itself. It's not about growing our church (individual congregations)... It's about growing THE church (the body of Christ).

Jeff Noble said...

I look forward to reading that book, but that quote is really not all that inspiring or even new... Jesus told us to go be salt and light. That means regular, transformative contact with our cultures. It was His statement that is radical.

When believers start realizing the goal is to influence others for the kingdom of Christ and for His glory rather than creating little church kingdoms of our own, society will be duly impacted.

However, it is in community with other believers, weekly through worship, exhortation, instruction and correction that we all grow toward Christlikeness. We can't abandon "church"; we must apply MORE grace and love to other believers than we do even toward the world. Scripture's pretty clear on that... Love One Another.

Thanks for the opportunity to digest the book in this way. Kind of a pre-read...

Angelina said...

For me the book that changed my life was called, Out of the Saltshaker and into the World. I forget who it's by, but it is worth readying.

Jeff Noble said...

Rebecca Pippert, I think.