Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Inspired to Plant! Organic Leadership: Book Review

Another leadership book? Yep. But Organic Leadership isn't your typical one.

And I am quickly becoming a Neil Cole fan. He doesn't tow the status quo in church-America, that's for sure. In fact, he challenges about every area of it. And his track record in fueling a movement of organic  churches (similar to house) is impressive and growing. It's hard to ignore his influence these days.

After reading Church 3.0, I thought this would be a repeat. Not really. While Cole repeats things in his books, that's simply the nature of the beast. What he teaches is simple and bears repeating. The principles are found in Scripture so he's on solid ground. While you may disagree with some of his conclusions, you can see he's striving to follow Scripture.

Cole tackles leadership from a disciple-making point of view. If you make disciples, you'll get your leaders. If you try to make leaders, you may or may not get disciples of Jesus. Good point!

Cole challenges status quo American church. Repeatedly. His point is that the church isn't multiplying and therefore must be doing something wrong. He thinks we need to lower the bar on what is required to do church and raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple. This strikes at the heart of the difference between mega-church and house church in his mind. 

I thought the strength of this book was it's closing chapters. His chapter on "Embracing Death" was extremely challenging. It could be a mini-book on its own. In fact, at times I felt like this book kept going on and on and tried to put it down. But then I'd give it another try and be pulled back in to it's great content. Perhaps more needed to be edited out. I'd opt for cutting it into more books. It was a lot of material.

The final chapter was mini-stories of people who illustrated "Embracing Death" by planting organic churches. These were inspiring! I wanted to go plant one myself. They were believable stories of ordinary people (not super-Christians) that I felt like I could identify with. Result: Inspiration!

I think the mark of a great book is that it inspires you to act. I am inspired to plant as a result of reading organic leadership!