Tools & Trainings  for  Organic Church Movements  
Issue No. 15                                                                                          09.15.08 
As the world looks at our churches, particularly in the West, it sees only what people have done or what programs they are doing. The world is not impressed. In response, we scheme and plot and plan, "What can we do to make our church more appealing to the people in our community?" This is, once again, the wrong question. It's as if we we're trying to boost God's approval ratings. It is God's name that is at risk, not ours, and we are not responsible for protecting His reputation. He can handle that, by Himself, just fine.
A better question is, "Where is Jesus seen at work in our midst?" Where do we see lives changing, and communities transforming simply by the power of the Gospel? Where do we see fathers restored to a life of holiness and responsibility? Where do we see daughters reconciling with fathers? Where do we see addicts who no longer live under the bondage of chemical dependency? Where are wealthy businessmen making restitution for past crimes that went unnoticed? These are the questions that lead people to recognize the living presence of Jesus, loving and governing people's lives as their King. When people encounter Jesus, alive and present as King, they get a taste of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
If Jesus is missing in our understanding of church, He will likely be missing in our expression of church as well.
I have come to understand church as this: the presence of Jesus among His people called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission on this planet.  That's what a church is....simply Jesus Followed.

Pressing on,

Neil Cole

Church Multiplication Associates
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Featured Resources
Feature Article
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Chicago, IL  //  Story 1  
Oct 31-Nov 2  
@ Moody Bible Institute  

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX  //  Story 1
October 24-26
@ University of Texas Arlington

Long Beach, CA  //  Story 1 &  2
Nov 7-9
@ Los Altos Grace Brethren Church

Dayton, OH //  Story 1
  October 24-26, 2008
@ Apex Community

Trainings in the planning stages
  • Memphis, TN // Story 1  Jan 16-18
  • Phoenix, AZ // Story 1
  • San Diego, CA  //  Story 1

Other Training Opportunities:

September 18-19 in Orlando, FL Neil Cole will be speaking at the Blossom Conference. More info> Here

September 26-October 2 in Hong Kong Neil Cole & Phil Helfer will be sharing organic church principles.
November 4-12 in Raipur, India - Ed Waken & Josh Wilshusen will be sharing evangelism principles and a Greenhouse Story 1.  More info contact Ed

February 19-21, 2009 Organic Leadership - CMA Conference 2009

Long Beach, CA @ The Grand > stay tuned HERE

Featured Resources

Organic Church
Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens
by Neil Cole

According to Neil Cole, if we want to connect with those who are not coming to church, we must go where people congregate. Cole shows readers how to plant the seeds of the Kingdom of God in the places where life happens and where culture is formed- restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, parks, locker rooms, and neighborhoods. Organic Church offers a hands-on guide for demystifying this new model of church and shows the practical aspects of implementing it.

While it may seem revolutionary, these simple, organic churches-bringing God's message where people are rather than expecting them to show up at church-is in keeping with the message of Jesus, who lived among the people of his time. Organic Church shows how we can return to those ancient roots by letting the church be alive, organic, growing, spreading in the most likely and unlikely places.

Jim & CasperJim & Casper Go To Church > back in stock!
by Jim Henderson and Matt Casper

In 2006, Jim Henderson, veteran Christian, hired atheist Matt Casper to join him in visiting twelve of America's best- and least- known churches, including Rick Warren's Saddleback, Joel Osteen's Lakewood, and even an organic church in San Diego.

Week after week, this spiritual odd couple attended services at churches all over the country and documented their experiences at and reactions to each one. Along the way, they found the real value of their journey in the open and authentic friendship that developed as they talked, questioned, joked and--most importantly--listened.

Follow along with Jim and Casper on their visits, and eavesdrop as they discuss what they found. Jim and Casper's articulate, sometimes humorous, and always insightful dialogue offers Christians a new view of an environment in which we've become overly comfortable: the church. And it models an important transition from "defending the faith" to "defending the space"--relational space for authentic, respectful dialogue and friendship with non-believers.

Also available is an audio presentation by Matt Casper and Jason Evans from the
2008 CMA Organic Church Movements Conference.

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Featured Article

From Seating Capacity to Sending Capacity:
Why an Incarnational Kingdom on Mission is Very Attractive
by Neil Cole
An article written for the upcoming Leadership Journal on being missional--Winter 2008

If we think that a model of church is our solution to reaching the world we are already in a bad place, whether that model is a mega church or a micro church.

There is a vast difference, however, between an attractional posture and an incarnational/missional understanding of church. The difference is not in the organization, but in the release and flow of God's kingdom. The church is not meant to be sedentary but sent-"one holy, apostolic (sent) church."

Today we expect the lost to come to us. In the Bible, God is always the Seeker going after those who are lost. He pursued Adam in a garden and Moses in a desert. He found Jonah at the bottom of the sea and Peter on top. Jesus found Matthew in an office and Paul out on the road.

God became a man and entered the world through a birth canal just like the rest of us. He chose to come to us on our turf, rather then expecting us to rise to His. Jesus preached everywhere that the kingdom of God has come near. He came to seek and to save the lost, and He now invites us to join Him.

Many ask: "How can we make the church more attractive to the lost?"....