Neil Cole on Organic Church

I spent three days at an ‘Organic Church Planters’ Greenhouse’ seminar last week. Neil Cole, from Los Angeles, was being hosted by Church Multiplication Associates, Australia to introduce church planters to the principles of organic church, simple church.

Neil Cole listening Rather than developing new churches around a meeting place, ‘organic church’ is developed in the marketplace. Churches are seeded, germinated and grown in the soil of relational networks. Because there is little expectation of employing staff or purchasing buildings the model is relatively inexpensive. Primary leadership is provided by an ‘apostolic team’ rather than by a pastoral teacher. The attraction to this approach to church is obvious life transformation rather than felt need programming.

What I found most helpful in the three day seminar was the inspiration of the stories of innovative, down-to-earth church plants that were based on the changed lives of new converts. It was tempting to dismiss them as stories that could never happen in Australia.

A key part of Neil’s approach is relational. I picked up the virus of focused intercessory prayer. I’ve now put appointments into my mobile phone in which I commit myself for praying for my family, for my relational network, and for the discovery and recruitment of people who will ‘work in the harvest’. Neil wasn’t afraid of talking. But he was also committed to listening.

I’ll put another couple of posts on the seminar up this week as I find the time.

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