CMA LogoTools & Trainings E-Newsletter
Issue 55                                            May 24, 2011  

ReThink Priesthood     

What concepts come to mind when you think of the word, priest? I was at an organic church recently and I asked that question. The answers ranged from a 'a person to go between God and man' to 'a holy man' to 'one who offers sacrifices to God'. How would you answer the question?  


In the Old Testament, we learn that a priest's main job was to bring two parties at odds together for peace. In other words, a priest is a go-between for people and God. A priest was to mediate between himself and God (Lev. 9:8, 14:28-29), between his family and God (Lev. 16:6, 16:11) and between the people and God (Lev. 9:15, 10:17, Num. 8:19). Priests are also to do what is in God's heart and soul (1 Sam. 2:35). These responsibilities are a high calling. It was an honor to be a priest in the Old Testament and only a small percentage ever had the honor to be a priest. To be a priest of Jehovah was the best job one could have.  


The New Testament also talks about priests of God, but the application for priests was changed. As the church age began to mature, the church seemed to revert to a more Old Testament concept of priest where one man would represent a whole group of people before God and also speak for God to the people. Some portions of the church have promoted this Old Testament concept of the priesthood for over 1700 years now.  


On October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, in this he denied the priesthood as it was known and elevated the concept of the priesthood of every believer. This truth is certainly found throughout the New Testament (1 Pet. 2:5-9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10). Martin Luther called out a change in the theology regarding every believer being a priest before God. Even still, since 1517, hardly anything has changed in practical terms in the church. Whether Catholic or Protestant, most churches simply do not allow the common people (the laity) to administer communion, baptize believers, perform weddings nor are they trusted to impart the Word of God with authority to people. In reality, there still is a division between the clergy (priests or pastors) and the laity (common people). This division must be destroyed by doing away with the laity and elevating all to priesthood.  


We must adopt the Biblical concept that every believer, from the moment of salvation is a priest of God and is capable of pointing people to Jesus for salvation, strength, hope and faith. Every believer is a child of God, equally connected to the head of the Church, Jesus Himself. Every believer has the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God is able to minister to and flow through the youngest and newest believer with powerful results (Mark 5:1-20 is just one example).  


So today, we must recapture the truth that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a priest of God to the nations to bring the Good News of our King to their ears and hearts. It is our distinct honor to do so. 


Ed Waken   


Originally posted  here




We hope the trainings, resources and the Hanging Great Weight on Thin Wires: Can Small Groups Become Missional and Make Disciples? by Neil Cole below encourage & challenge you as you are living it out in your part of God's World.


TrainingsUpcoming Trainings- Organic Greenhouse   
Greenhouse Story 1Orlando, FL // Story 1 & Story 2 
June 10-12, 2011
@ Northland, A Church Distributed
with Neil Cole, Ross Rohde, Bill Levin and more
Registration online ends June 5 - Reduced Price!

Florida Greenhouse Site

Cleveland, OH // Story 1  

July 22-23, 2011

with Neil Cole & Ed Waken

Registration online now!  

Austin, TX // Story 1
Greenhouse Story 2
August 11-13, 2011
with Neil Cole & Ed Waken
Embedded in the SENT Lab

Others in the works:  Harrisburg, PA; New Orleans; Sydney, Australia

Click HERE for more Details and to Register

Other Organic Church Learning Opportunities



Momentum - National House Church Conference September 2-4
Jacksonville, FL 

Keynote speakers: Neil Cole, Frank Viola, and Wolfgang Simson
Register by June 26th for a price that is lower than the 2010 price.  



SENTralized 2011 


September 29 - October 1

Olathe, Kansas

with Alan Hirsch, Neil Cole, Hugh Halter, Michael Frost, Dan Kimball and more!


HeroFeatured Resources 


The Faith of LeapThe Faith Of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure and Courage
by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch

"This book hits on one of the most crucial elements we need to release church multiplication movements--if not the most significant missing ingredient. This is, in my opinion, Hirsch and Frost's best work to date and is must reading for anyone who wants to release missional movements."--Neil Cole

>>For more Info, Excerpts or to Order



Live SentLive Sent: You Are A Letter
by Jason C. Dukes

See how giving yourself away in daily life means being to other people the letter of God's love that has been written on our hearts. Our community needs us, and our world needs live sent.

>>For more Info, Excerpts or to Order

LTG - BlueLife Transformation Group Cards LTG - Red  Our Basic Discipleship Tool
Life Transformation Group is a simple way to release the most essential elements of a vital spiritual walk to people who need Jesus. This tool empowers the common Christian to accomplish the uncommon work of reproducing spiritual disciples who can in turn reproduce others.

2 versions
Red - Original 11 questions       25 card pack   &   100 card pack

Blue- Simplified 5 questions    
25 card pack   &   100 card pack


Journeys To Significance Journeys To Significance: Charting a Leadership Course from the Life of Paul
by Neil Cole  


"Neil gives the best interpretation of Paul's progress of ministry breakthrough insights that I have seen.... This interpretive biography of Paul is a valuable resource for a leader who wants to pursue the Leadership mandate (Hebrews 13:7,8) and learn from Paul's examples." -Dr. J. Robert Clinton  



TruthQuest: Facilitator's GuideTruthQuest: The Facilitator's Guide | Updated Version By Neil Cole
Fresh off the presses, this updated resource contains all you need to facilitate a TruthQuest learning community.  TruthQuest is a system for training emerging leaders in systematic theology and to reproduce that learning amongst their disciples!

>> For more Info or to Order


For the whole list of resources on Sale    >> click HERE 


Free Resources 
Also there are a host of audio files for you to listen to or download >> HERE or on iTunes

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Slums See 200 New Churches in Five Months by @RogerThoman 


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New Free Articles & Videos 

Exponential Growth by Ross Rohde 

In my early Christian discipleship I was steeped in a system that encouraged us to share our faith. This was a good thing. We were often encouraged by some sort of simple diagram which showed us the p ...


Dealing with Bullies in the Body of Christ by Neil Cole 

A young organic church planter asked me how I deal with people who complain about my words and at the same time, manage to tactfully address sensitive issues in the church. Here is my response... Hey ...


Chinese Takeaway by Ross Rohde 

I had dinner with some friends at a Chinese restaurant a couple of nights ago. We were discussing simple church. One of my friends asked me what was my take away from my visit to China awhile back? ...  


What is Church? by Jaeson Ma Video 

Jaeson Ma sharing about "What is church?"- Session 1 from the SoCal Blueprint Training. See also articles: Church Planting Movements Video5 P's of Multiplying Campus Churche ...


Church 3.0 // Igreja 3.0 - Neil Cole w/ Portuguese Subtitles | Video 

Church 3.0: Upgrades for the Future of the Church (or Igreja 3.0). Presentation by Neil Cole during a training in Norway in May of 2010 with subtitles in Portuguese thanks to Pćo & Vinho. ...


Starting Seekers Bible Studies by Jaeson Ma| Video 

Jaeson Ma sharing about the how to start seekers Bible studies from the SoCal Blueprint Training.   See also articles: 5 P's of Multiplying Campus Churches AudioHo ...


How can I make disciples and have a job, too? by Traver Dougherty 

For about the last decade I have studied hard to answer questions like these: What is a disciple? How do we make them? What does one look like when we're finished? Do we ever finish? While I've m ...

ARTICLEFeatured Article

Hanging Great Weight on Thin Wires: Can Small Groups Be Missional and Make Disciples?
by Neil Cole        


hanging weight on wires

Pastor Brian Jones tells of the response he got from one 'nationally recognized' pastor when Brian told him that he hadn't figured out the whole small group thing yet. Brian said the pastor's response was something like this:  


"Well, Brian, that's because they don't work. Small groups are things that trick us into believing we're serious about making disciples. The problem is 90 percent of small groups never produce one single disciple. Ever. They help Christians make shallow friendships, for sure. They're great at helping Christians feel a tenuous connection to their local church, and they do a bang-up job of teaching Christians how to act like other Christians in the Evangelical Christian subculture. But when it comes to creating the kind of holistic disciples Jesus envisioned, the jury's decision came back a long time ago-small groups just aren't working."  


It is true that we have been trying to make disciples in small groups for a few decades now and are no closer to seeing the world transformed by missional agents than before we started this experiment.  


Groups don't make disciples; disciples make disciples. It is my contention that for far too long we have placed the burden of sanctification on group meetings that were never meant to transform a soul, but to give transformed souls a place to join and interact in a healthy manner.


Your church is only as good as...

...Read the rest HERE>>>


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