I’ve written what I didn’t get and/or didn’t like about Neil Cole’s Church 3.0 presentation. Now it’s time to digest what did resonate with me and challenged me in a good way. Here’s the list…no real wordsmithing, just bullets.
* First words of God and last earthly words of Jesus is to multiply. Not add, subtract, or divide but multiply.
* It’s not really multiplication until the 4th generation – Paul, Timothy, Faithful Men, Others Also
* Goal is plant a self-perpetuating & self-propagating church. That’s a movement.
* Movement starts at simplest level – multiplying disciples, then leaders, then churches, then movements.
* We need to raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple, lower the bar on what it means to do church.
* Agreement to a statement of faith and changed behavior once a week is not a disciple.
* Respect the beginning of the process. There is long runway to build before multiplication. James 5:7-8
*Movement starts with right DNA:
Divine Truth – human and divine, Bible (both), Jesus (both)
Nurturing Relationships – one anothers, smallest unit = 2 people. If it doesn’t work there, won’t work anywhere.
Apostolic Mission – to be sent out, to go out, to serve all
* Do not supplement the DNA. Do not substitute the DNA.
GE’s note – the acronym made me cringe like crazy but it works and it’s true. Have to have these 3 as foundation to a multiplication culture. I like our language better – Love God (D), Live Connected (N), Serve All (A).
* The right DNA needs the right soil – Mark 4
* Only 25% of the soils Jesus talked about were good. Plant there.
* Don’t alter the church to accommodate the bad soils.
* It’s impossible to change bad soil (barren, weedy, shallow) into good soil. Must sit fallow for a season.
* Don’t invest in potential, invest in proven-ness.
* What’s IN the seed determines WHAT grows. Soil determines IF it grows.
* If Jesus isn’t enough to motivate and change a person, my personal counseling or sermons aren’t going to do it either.
GE’s note: Cole’s point was this – when we invest in potential, we are investing in zero. We are robbing our investment some where else. If a guy won’t change, won’t be accountable, won’t do simple obedience – don’t invest in them. Let them come to church. Love them. Pray for them. But life on life investment should be for those who have “proven-ness”, simple obedience.
This concept caused some discussion both in the session and on the way home. My initial reaction to what he said was “AMEN!!” It feels like a massive waste of effort and time to see little to no life change in a person that you’ve been discipling over a period of time. Investing in weedy soil and shallow soil is still investing in bad soil. It’s stealing from others who are good soil.
However, sometimes good soil is slow growing. And what I perceive as bad soil or potential – may just be slow growing. What’s the difference? I think it’s the concept of simple obedience. Someone who will be faithful in small things, will be faithful in large things. Someone who takes baby steps of application of God’s word, who disciplines themselves to spend a bit more time in the word than the week before – those are simple steps of obedience. As long as there is movement and obedience – invest.
* Biggest obstacle, biggest heresy in the church? Legalism. Not heaven/hell, salvation.
* We need better trained pews, not pulpits.
* The church is only as good as her disciples.
* Plant Jesus, not churches.