Organic Church "Growing Faith Where Life Happens."

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!
The Death of the Gentleman
One has to wonder what happened to the lost way of the gentleman. Has it been diluted by the extreme feminist movement? Do women no longer want to be treated with respect or high-esteem? Do they view it as belittling to have doors opened and chairs pulled out for them? Could it be that men have reduced women down to objects of their own pleasure ranking them with the likes of an XBOX, car, or trophy? Is it possible that nowadays ladies like this kind of treatment? How about a combination? All of the above. Not only have men forgotten how to treat women, women have forgotten how they should be treated. Are you ready? Hold on, because down the slopes we go.
(Disclaimer: I'm not writing to argue. If you don't care about my opinions you have an open invitation to stop reading. I won't be offended; I promise.)
Recently, my wife has drawn my attention to this lack of the Gentlemen breed. (They have become a rare breed indeed.) Of course, it wasn't hard to notice it myself as the door going into Cheddars almost gave my wife's nose an uninvited reconstructive surgery. Can you believe this guy? I had already opened the first door. The "not so gentleman" was in front of us at the second door. We both falsely assumed that he would hold the door open. We were wrong and my wife's face almost paid the price.
We see this all too often. When expectations are lowered people will stoop to meet them. When they are raised most people will try to rise to the occasion. Why someone would settle in a relationship is beyond me. I mean this is the rest of your life you are talking about here, unless, of course, marriage and commitment are just disposable commodities like toilet paper. (Which is a whole other topic for a different day.)
The resolution? Perhaps a total paradigm shift in our thinking is in order. If you are a man, realize that just because you may act like a barnyard animal does not give you the freedom to treat others like they are just another pig in the pen. Have dignity. Have respect. Do not reduce women to objects but realize that like you, they are created by a Divine Creator; beautifully woven together as the spoken word of God. (God spoke us into existence. If you don't believe me, try and prove God wrong. The best you'll get is monkeys, bananas and evolution.) If you are a lady, don't settle for the barn yard animals. I know gentlemen are hard to come by these days but they do exist. Wait for him to sweep you off of your feet with chivalry that would make even the Knights of old look wimpy. Until that happens don't fall for the pigs, chickens or asses (that means donkeys for those who haven't read the KJV.) Pun intended? You decide.
That can't be all though and it certainly is not. We were created to love and fear God. If we don't have this relationship in order trying to cram the other square pegs into round holes won't work either. If you use excessive force you'll only damage the pegs or the board. Either way, it isn't pretty. Besides, there is an easier way of life and relationship. Jesus. Yet, you can't just try him on like a garment in a fitting room than discard him if you feel like he makes your butt look big. Sorry, Jesus is not Burger King; you really can't have it your way. I realize that it is easier to serve a genie in a Bible than to crucify our selves daily but reducing God to an ATM machine is horribly mistaken. The point of this rant is this, we can’t honestly expect fruitful relationships if we don’t first know the love that comes from a relationship with God. His love is a sacrificial, unconditional love.

Ephesians 5:22 “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (“Submit” meaning support. Check the Greek context.)
Ephesians 5:25-27 “25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”

How can either of these biblical mandates happen if the parties involved do not know the love of Christ? They can’t. They won’t.

To conclude this madness I will offer my very own commitment to permanently ending the ways of the pig like man in me. It will be a struggle for sure; living selflessly always is. But a true gentleman is one that understands selfless love. Does Jesus deserve it? Absolutely! Does my wife deserve it? No question, and I will be the man (ahem) the gentleman to prove it!