Tag Archive | Neil Cole

A Quick and Dirty Review of “Rising Tides” by Neil Cole

What It’s About:

Rising Tides is Neil Cole’s most recent published book that looks at four “rising tides” or trends in the Earth that are changing society and are changing the narrative for how and why we “do” church. Those four trends are rapid population growth, extreme technological innovation, growing economic disparity, and increasing political polarization. After discussing these four trends he spends the rest of the book talking about changes the church as a people must make to remain relevant in a society that is increasingly different than the one the church was so successful in reaching a generation or two ago.

What I Liked:

I’m a fan of Cole’s thought process and writing. Cole was one of my early influences in my process of starting house churches. Many of the societal factors Cole describes in his book and their impact on the church are reasons why I have chosen to meet and help give birth to house churches, so I found myself nodding, agreeing, and being encouraged about how he connected daily new stories and trends in the earth to the need for a church to be simple, reproducible, and real. Towards the end of the book, the themes come together in a very prophetic way that will present a picture of how the church must change.

Of all the books of Cole’s that I have read, this book is the most “end-time-like.” While Cole dances around the idea of end-times a bit, it’s clear he sees some of these factors pointing to a definitive point in humanity’s future. While he doesn’t exactly say we are living in the last days, he makes a solid case that history is heading towards a climax of some kind and we need to make an adjustment to endure the days ahead.

In many ways this book was much like a tract for those who might not be convinced by biblical reasoning to start an organic church but may be convinced by the need and the shifting atmosphere to adjust how the church is oriented. I love books that are more like tracts and as a “convert” it was a fun read.


What I Didn’t Like:

For those of us who have read “Organic Church,” “Organic Leadership,” “Church 3.0,” and some of Neil’s other books, there’s not as many new ideas here. If you’re like me, you’ve enjoyed all these reads and came for something maybe a little fresher. There is some of that, but most of the fresh material relates to the trends affecting us currently. It’s not that these sections were bad, but they weren’t really a surprise. There was maybe a new idea every chapter or two, but much of what was found here was repackaged from some of Cole’s other works. This isn’t a problem if you’re new to Cole’s work, but for someone familiar it served mostly as a good refresher.

The other thing I struggled with was the book seemed to raise the four “rising tides” as shifts the church needed to address, but the solutions seemed to still be forming in Cole’s mind. It wasn’t that they were bad ideas–most of the problems presented by the rising tides Cole addressed with the answer of a more organic, reproducing church. Again, here I agree, but in some ways these ideas didn’t seem robust or well connected to the problems. The one Cole most thoroughly covered was how a multiplying church could keep up with population growth, but with the tides of technological innovation or economic disparity the connections to his solution were less clear. Cole himself admitted this book was written quickly in order to not become out of date and it may be that some of the ideas needed a little more time to develop.

Should You Get It:

If you’ve never read a book by Cole, I would strongly suggest it. Cole loves the church and he writes a love letter to the church begging her to recognize the times she’s living in. Once you’ve read this book, I would strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Church 3.0 or Organic Church to further explore the ideas he suggests within this book.

If you love Neil, have heard him speak a lot, or kept up with his other books, I would be a little more wary. Unless you have a need to read every book of his or haven’t thought much about how house churches keep up with an ever-changing society, this might be a redundant book.

Rating:

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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Food For Thought: New Media Edition

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

I thought I would try something new this week.  I’ve always meant to include other media besides blogs on our “Food for Thought” posts.  It just so happens that this week there are a couple of significant contributions from the organic church world that I think are worth taking a look at.  Let me know if you find any of these helpful in the comments section, and if people find them helpful I may try to find more.  Enjoy!

Plant a Church in His Projects?

Kieth @ the Subversive1 blog has been tearing up the internets with a series of articles on how to minister to the poor.  Alan @ The Assembling of the Church references that post in this blog and he quotes a song by LeCrae that illustrates why church planting among the homeless and poor is absolutely necessary.

Pioneering Blog #6 Living with the Awesome Factor

Shawn is a prophetic voice that has been pioneering a church in L.A. amongst the creative community there.  He’s been posting at Shawnbolz’s Weblog about the difficulties of pioneering, and this post talks about the difficulty of continuing to walk in breakthough throughout our everyday lives.

Training

Guy @ The M Blog writes about the need for continual training as we pursue the establishment of God’s Kingdom.  I think continual training is a must for anyone serious about Kingdom transformation.  Don’t miss the excerpt from Curtis Sergeant’s “What We Can Learn from the U.S. Marines.”

Thoughts…

Len at Next Reformation has been thinking deeply about Ephesians chapter 4.  Here he quotes various authors’ and thinkers’ thoughts on the realities found in Ephesians 4.  What I love about these quotes is how they tie weakness and vulnerability together with displaying the glory of Jesus.

Starfish Files Winter 2011 Edition

Starfish Files is an e-magazine put together by the leaders of the house church movement in Canada.  Don’t miss the feature article: “Repenting of Dead Works for a Great Harvest of Souls.”

Christ is the Gift

Neil Cole teaches on the true place of the five ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4.  I love Neil’s emphasis on Christ as the source of all the gifts.  There’s a lot to be learned here.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

Food For Thought: Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Week 2

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

I never knew that blogging every day could be so difficult.  The people who do this regularly must have no other job or commitments (or they lack small children).  Despite my complaining, this has actually been a good process and I’ve learned a lot about Jesus, listening, blogging, and writing. And now, on with the links.

A New Kind of Disciple Felicity Dale reposts a blog from Intentional Gatherings about a spiritual revolution taking place among young adults in the United States.  It’s a must read at Simply Church.

New Generations International Newspaper Check out this excellent story at David Watson’s blog, Touchpoint, which tells the story of a miracle happening in their church planting network in Southeast Asia.

What is Organic Church This is an in-depth article between Neil Cole and Frank Viola.  Each call what they are doing organic church but the result is very different.  I think this interview by Keith Giles at Subversive1 is incredibly helpful.  We have a lot to learn from both men.

Spiritual Family This blog looks at the shirt that has taken place as a movement-oriented house church network begins to operate as a spiritual family.  House churches will never work if we don’t do both.  Find more at A Holy Discontent’s Weblog.

Emerging Doubt This post is by Steve over at Movements.net.  Steve brings us up to date on why much of the “Emergent Church” conversation didn’t help bring the Gospel to others like they said it would.

Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Week Two And finally, my little contribution to the internets.  Check out the exploits of a man committed to listening to Jesus and obeying what he hears for 30 days.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

Who Should We Support

Neil Cole is blogging about who the Bible says should receive full time support from the church here, here, and here. This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed, especially in light of the current financial crisis which is now hitting churches everywhere. Neil is brilliantly simple and able to cut to the heart of a matter. I highly recommend checking it out!