Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good reading

I recently purchased more books than I have time to read, but I'm in the middle of a couple good ones, Radical, by David Platt and Organic Church, by Neil Cole. Here are some excerpts.

You tell them, "I'm buying that field over there."
They look at you in disbelief. "That's a ridiculous investment," they say. "Why are you giving away everything you have?"
You respond, "I have a hunch," and you smile to yourself as you walk away.

You smile because you know. You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. So with joy--with joy!--you sell it all, you abandon it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for...

The cost of nondiscipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him. p. 18, Radical

"Because we were approaching church as a living entity, organic in essence, we followed certain natural phases of development. The result was reproduction at all levels of church life: disciples, leaders, churches, movements. In all of life, reproduction begins at the cellular level and eventually multiplies and morphs into more complex living entities. Life reproduces, and usually it develops from micro to macro. p. 24 Organic Church

My advice, "Don't do anything until you are sure Jesus is with you. Like Moses, tell the Lord,'I'm not going to take one step forward unless you go first.' And let that be true for the rest of your ministry! I recommend that you put yourself in a precarious place where if God doesn't show up and deliver you, you're dead."
pp.50-51 Organic Church

Unfortunately, in most churches in the Western world the presence of the pastor is more noticeable than the presence of Jesus. Actually, it's the pastor's absence that is more noticeable. This phenomenon is so common that on any Sunday when the pastor is expected to be away, the attendance drops. People say they missed him when he returns. I fear that we feel the absence of the pastor more than the absence of the Spirit of Jesus. Perhaps it is time we tell Jesus that we miss Him at church too. p. 57 Organic Church

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