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.