Making the switch.
I've switched over to the word press format. Check it out!
As I read this book, I was saturated in bittersweet emotion. Author, Neil Cole addresses the blunders of the institutionalized church in America and proposes a new strategy for life and growth. Being a Staff Pastor in an "institutionalized church", there were moments that this book left me grinding my teeth in frustration. Yet, I love the heart of the author. Church is not meant to be centralized to a certain location because the "church" is not a building. "We the people" are the church; the living and breathing doors, walls, windows, floors, ceilings. We essentially bring "church" wherever life happens. Life happens everywhere if you are alive; so take Jesus to Starbucks and plant a church. Take Jesus to the Ragu factory and start a church; to the bars, clubs, city hall, locker room, etc. You get the point. Jesus never intended for people to have to go to "church" to encounter His saving grace. In fact, He went to them. Furthermore, Jesus commanded His disciples to "GO" rather than stay.
Another interesting point that Cole elaborated on was that the modern church places far too much stock in, and has too much dependency on, its leaders (Pastors). In other words, people should not depend more on a Pastor for their spiritual growth than Jesus himself. Somehow people have been conditioned to rely on their "hired hand" for everything. This kind of church is like a ticking time bomb of failure. I am thankful that the body of believers (church) that I am a part of is not Pastor Dependent.
Some questions that I would pose to the author are the following; If these organic churches are sprouting up everywhere what kind of doctrinal accountability, if any, is mandated. What kind of pastoral accountability is in place? There were times that the book seemed to stereotype all "Western Churches." Is there anything that the "Western Church" is doing well?
As far as a recommendation goes, (as if my recommendation means anything) It's a good read and offers practical insight.
Notes From a Tilt-A-Whirl
I remember standing in a local Christian bookstore previewing this book. Before I had even realized it, twenty pages were devoured by my eyes. I couldn't help but to buy it. For starters, the title of this book is very appropriate. There are times when the author takes you on literary rides that equate to the madness of the Tilt-a-Whirl. Nevertheless, in the end it makes sense. Warning: You may feel dizzy at times. It isn't a good idea to eat, or have a tired mind, while experiencing this ride of a book. You might find that you need some Dramamine for the motion sickness.
Waiting so long to post on it really makes me crave reading it again. I fear that I will not do the book justice. It has been my favorite read this year. Wilson is genuine and raw. He is bold and holds no punches as He dances around in theological and philosophical rings. His writing flows like poetry; his words become like paintings in my mind. Wilson weaves, though not seamlessly, through topics from creation to death.
After reading this book I have found a new appreciation for "God's spoken word"; His creation. I have taken more time to notice and think about the little things. Yes, even molecules, atoms, and ants. I have found more beauty in the unattractive and I've embraced my role in the grand "stage" that God has built for all of us; earth. Put this one on your reading list! It's more than worth the paper it's written on!