Friday, January 22, 2010

Church 3.0 is coming, in more ways than one

Just a little over a week until I see my first copy of Church 3.0. We will have copies on hand at the Verge conference in Austin the first week of February.

Here is the copy for the jacket that they wrote up in case you are curious about what the book is all about:

Church 3.0

When Neil Cole’s best-selling book Organic Church was first published, it described one of the fastest growing and most innovative segments of contemporary Christianity.

In Church 3.0, Cole makes the argument that Christianity needs more than new programs, buildings, or worship formats. It needs a complete upgrade to a new operating system. The early church shifted to a more institutional form in 300 AD and has been stuck in the 2.0 operating system ever since. We are over due for the next upgrade. Church 3.0 discusses issues such as how to deal with heresy, how to handle finances, what to do with children and what to do with worship, rituals, and ordinances. Even the most enthusiastic proponents and practitioners of organic churches often wonder how to handle such matters in a faithful way.

Organic churches demand a shift from a program-driven and clergy-led institutionalized approach to one that is relational, simple, intimate, and viral in the way it spreads. Instead of seeing church as something that serves its people, church becomes people who serve God, one another, and a hurting world. Church is no longer an event to be at, but a family to be part of. Church is not a program to reach out to the world, but a people that bring God with them to the world.

Church 3.0 offers insight and information about how to make this shift to a more organic form of church that is based on Cole's extensive experience in starting, nurturing, and mentoring thousands of churches. This is an insider’s look at the important considerations necessary to release spontaneous church multiplication movements in a Western context.


Anonymous said...

Hey Neil,

Looking forward to meeting you finally at Verge.

Question: Do you use any kind of gift/strengths testing to release people into ministry?

Neil Cole said...

Jonathan, For the most part, I do not use gift surveys, I believe they tend to do a couple things:

1. Peg someone for life.

2. Carry authority they should not.

3. Have an unwritten bias in the test that slants people.

4. Takes the focus off of the body and puts it on the individual.

5. Makes gift discovery simply a matter of personal preference rather than true effectiveness.

Sorry mate, but having used them in the past this has been my experience.

Looking forward to finally meeting the church planting novice.

Pressing on,


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Neil.

I've had similar reservations, but have not thought them through as well. Thanks.

We're definitely organic at Austin City Life, but see the need for leader development and some discerning tools. We're probably going to use Strengths Finders with our staff but run it through a theological, communal, and missional grid.

Looking forward to meeting you also!