Friday, January 16, 2009

The Baby Has Arrived!

My newest book, Organic Leadership has arrived at my house. It looks good. Not as thick as I was afraid it would be even though it is longer than my previous books. I will have some on hand (pre-release) for any of my upcoming conferences this month (January '09). We are also providing a free copy to the first 100 to register for our Organic Church Movements Conference February 19-21, 2009 in Long Beach CA.

In OL I challenge many ideas about leadership and church life that we all take for granted. Many of them are faulty ideas about church leadership, which we continue to support but which have never really been evaluated in the light of Scripture. Ideas that corrupt our understanding of the kingdom are addressed such as our tendency to view the church as simply a religious institution with a top-down authoritative structure; and some of the temptations that tend to hijack leadership away from healthy fruitfulness and can actually cause leaders to become detrimental to the work of God’s kingdom; as well as some of the ways we try to force people to live up to a religious code of conduct with manipulative tactics. In all of these examples, spirituality is seen as something that can be put on us from the outside, rather than growing and emerging from the heart. In each case, leadership is core to maintaining these false paradigms of spiritual life and development. Thus the first section of this book addresses honestly and directly many of the factors that keep true and natural leadership from emerging organically and growing. I call them “weeds in the garden of leadership.”

The second section focuses on how healthy leadership emerges naturally from the inside out. We discover how a true leader is formed and how to measure his or her success.

In the third section of the book I share some sound scriptural principles about leaders who emerge organically and serve humbly yet are spiritually powerful in their leadership role. We come to see that the kingdom of God is countercultural. It is, in fact, counterintuitive, the opposite of what we would expect. From this vantage point we see how leaders emerge from the soil of brokenness and blossom with great fruitfulness, affecting generations to come. In this sense leaders are no different from other Christians. Living a life of Christ incarnate within us is the key to making a difference no matter who you are.

The fourth section presents practical leadership-development practices built on the foundations laid in the previous sections. These recipes for homegrown leaders are both practical and simple.

The fifth section is about resources for the life, growth, and health of leaders and churches.

I conclude with some examples of the kind of leaders that exemplify the concepts in the book. These are true stories of real people who are carving out communities of light in the midst of the heavy darkness in our land.

If you read this book, you may find you are challenged to a level of discomfort. This book is about leadership, and leadership moves forward—often into uncharted territory, which may be an uncomfortable place. Anytime we are asked to move beyond the familiar, we will feel some level of discomfort and fear.


Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Exciting! I wish I was able to make the conference, but it isn't possible at the moment. However, I look forward to getting the book.


katiedriver said...

This "Baby" is going to set a lot of people free and I can't wait to see the fruit of it in the months and years ahead. Thanks for writing Neil!
I just read a little book called "Tribes" by Seth Godin. Not from a Christian perspective but very insightful in regards to leading. It fits well with your book but from a secular angle.....

Neil Cole said...

Thanks Katie! I will try and get a hold of the Godin book and read it in the next couple months. See you next month!

Mike said...

If you want to order the book, you can get them from us faster than anywhere else-- We'll ship them as soon as we receive them!

Click over to

Mike said...

If you want to order the book, you can get them from us faster than anywhere else-- We'll ship them as soon as we receive them!

Click over to

Traver Dougherty said...

I was probably one of the handful that got to do a pre-read of this book. Two things: first, I'm interested to see how this book was edited for length. There were many parts where I thought, "This part is really important...folks need to know this stuff." So, my hope is nothing got chopped that will bring real and tangible advances to missional leadership. Second, as an ex-senior pastor and missiologist-type, one of the book's real strengths is Neil's willingness to "go there," meaning, there's a bunch stuff that happens in the church (e.g., the often awkward relationship between the local church and parachurch organizations) that never seems to get addressed openly, candidly, and missiologically. Neil succeeds at this in a big way. -Traver Dougherty

Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading and reviewing it Neil!

Neil Cole said...

I look forward to reading your review!


Brian said...

hey neil, im one of sam lee's old youth ministry kids and i met you briefly at CPx. just wanted to let you know that we're so thankful for your belief in us and loving mentorship. your kingdom contributions are cornerstones and we're more than glad to have shared the weekend with you.

TO ANYONE CONTEMPLATING BUYING THIS BOOK: read this book. im not a huge book person but this one reads as if neil is discipling you himself in order to disciple others in a multiplication-oriented way! i'm already changing my ways and seeing some good fruit. let this BLESS you!

for the Lord, San Diego, and eventually the nations,

Anonymous said...

REALLY looking forward to reading this book Neil! GOD chooses the least likely candidate!

1 Cor 1:27


David Lee Waters Sr.,