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Organic Leadership: Leading Naturally Right Where You Are (Shapevine) by [Cole, Neil]
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Organic Leadership: Leading Naturally Right Where You Are (Shapevine) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Arguing that the division between clergy and laity is artificial, this book offers a fresh look at leadership and inspires lay people to become leaders.

From the Back Cover

Grow more leaders for a greater harvest!
What are the weeds that hinder the natural growth of godly leadership? Are programs, people, and money truly the signs of a successful church? Where can you find an unlimited source of leaders? How do you mentor leaders so that they multiply? In "Organic Leadership" Neil Cole asks these questions and more, boldly challenging many of the ideas about leadership and church life that we all take for granted. Then he reveals how to grow leaders that multiply naturally.
"It has been a very long time since I've read a book on leadership that moved me. Neil takes the person, the context, and God's Word, and mixes them in a powerful way for a life of leadership."--Bob Roberts Jr., senior pastor, Northwood Church; author, "Transformation" and "Glocalization"
""Organic Leadership" will trouble you--but more importantly, it will challenge you. And you should read it because the church could use some troubling and a new challenge."--Ed Stetzer, author and researcher
"A prophetic call for a more discipleship-based, grassroots, and inspirational form of leadership in our time."--Alan Hirsch, author, "The Forgotten Ways" and "ReJesus"; co-founder, shapevine.com
"Neil isn't afraid to examine presuppositions that can paralyze the church."--Dave Gibbons, author, "The Monkey and the Fish"
"You will find insights and tools to help you and your church expand your kingdom reach."--Bob Buford, founder, Leadership Network; author, "Halftime" and "Finishing Well"

Neil Cole is the founder and executive director of Church Multiplication Associates (www.cmaresources.org), which has catalyzed the start of thousands of churches around the world. He is an international speaker and the author of "Organic Church" and "Search & Rescue." He and his family live in California.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1580 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; Reprint edition (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B853UF8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #431,895 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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This is what mission should be
I get it very clear engaging I have been hidden behind our elders for too long
No more
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x954e072c) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9568adf8) out of 5 stars Tomorrow's church today 17 Feb. 2009
By Dr. Larry Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Theology of Church Leadership
Organic Leadership is an important book. The renewal movement of the 70's identified the flaws in the institutional church and called for a return to more a biblical and authentic shared life for the Christian community. That was a good initial step, and many biblical essentials were identified then. And hesitant steps toward renewal were taken in many churches. But the weight of institutional forms and expectations shaped by decade upon decade of "doing church" the wrong way was too great. Today however is a new day. The yearning for reality is causing many to question and to leave our churches. And the churches, having lost their way, like the ordained leadership and the schools which purport to prepare it, flail blindly.
That's why this book, and others explaining the growing "organic church movement" are so significant. True Christian leadership emerges only from a rightly functioning church. And this book places the development of leaders in the context, and for leadership of, rightly functioning churches! I highly commend the book, and others are produced by those in the organic church movement. They are sharing with us how to recover the dynamic that swept through the world with the Gospel, and are modeling for us all what the church can be once again.
Lawrence O (Larry) Richards
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x969d8b1c) out of 5 stars Honest and gritty 15 July 2009
By William E. Berger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read Organic Church and really enjoyed the no non sense style of Neil Cole, it helped form and foster some philosophy of church that was missing for me. I have now read Organic Leadership and I have worn out 5 yellow high-liters! This book was more like a manuel on being a leader that is committed to the teaching and releasing of people to do effective, long term ministry. I enjoy Neil's "pull no punches" style. This is not a book trying to create rock star pastors, this is a book for those who really see the call of a pastor as more of a cheer leader and resource provider for congregants to do ministry for themselves. One of my favorite quotes, "The goal should always be to get congregants to think for themselves by simply teaching the truth and letting them draw conclusions with the help of the Holy Spirit." Yahtzee! That is what we need from pastors today, the ability to empower, encourage and release! I strongly encourage anyone who wants a church to become a movement in their community to get this book and do what it says.
Hey Neil, when is the next book coming out!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95888e10) out of 5 stars Perhaps one of Cole's best books to date 12 Dec. 2009
By mikeandleslie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Neil Cole's books to date... and written glowing reviews of most of them. But this one might be one of his finer works to date (though I suspect Church 3.0 will break that trend soon).

Neil, as a Church Planting Movements guy, has always been about simplicity and reproducibility. These values, to no surprise, come out here in Organic Leadership as well; but he uniquely directs them to the topic of Christian leadership. The result is a book unlike the run-of-the-mill, 10 steps book on leadership. He doesn't come across as a John Maxwell does where you feel like you have to buy more of his stuff or be like him or else fail. Nor does he come across as a typical Christian preacher talking about leadership with perfectly alliterated points that sound good but lack authenticity and personal stories of provenness in the real world. Instead, when you read Organic Leadership, it feels like he REALLY wants and needs you to be the leader God may you to be, so he'll tell you about the passing of his father-in-law, tell you about his "low point" of being a pastor AND a paper boy, and other things that a true spiritual parent would roll up his sleeves and tell you over breakfast. There is a different level of weight or authority that you will sense in this book, and I suspect it has to do with the fact that these are not just ideas, but the communication of a way of life learned over the years -- a way of life that he wants us to grasp for the times ahead.

The first section (120 some pages) is incredibly convicting and offers a prophetic critique of the way leadership is understood and practiced in the West. This is the underbrush that needs to be cleared away to go further in the organic leadership journey. We must get through this before we talk about tools and new paradigms. But be warned! Neil pulls the veil off the truth that most of us, leaders, have never contemplated: WE are part of the problem! Since many of us have never gone there before, I anticipate a feeling of discomfort during this section. Like me, you may have to stop reading at points in the book to pray, to repent or to contemplate further. Neil courageously asks us what most parishioners would never dare say to us. And for that reason, we need to listen all the more. Neil, coming from the organic point of view, asks new questions like: have you ever considered that the content, setting, frequency and manner of our "teaching" is actually having the opposite effect of what we want: stunting the church's growth?! Traditions like these go unquestioned in our evangelical cultures, but if they were indeed true, would we listen and change course? The whole section has a feel of a heavier and more radical version of J. Oswald Sanders' Spiritual Leadership where he asks such important questions like are you spiritually plateaued? are you acting more like Jesus or the Pharisees? But it's not coming from self-righteousnes or anger but out of a burden to see the world reached for Christ through leaders like us.

Once you get through these hard questions and topics, you will find an illuminating section on paradigms and perspectives that cause us to lead off center: like the unnecessary and unbiblical separation between secular and sacred or between clergy and laity. There is also a great section on starting leadership development with not-yet-Christian folks instead of with the usual more mature Christians we recruit. This part is worth paying attention to because it links leadership development to MISSION instead of to the shepherding of the local church where we develop or recruit existing leaders to our programs -- thereby creating no new leaders in the net cause! Neil humorously mentions that some of the best leaders of tomorrow are waking up with a hangover and in the wrong bed today! The playing field significantly widens without separating "evangelism" from leadership development; they become part of the same disciple-making activity. Sounds biblical, doesn't it?

After that is my favorite part, there is a fantastic section on mentoring. I think the price of the book is found here. It is filled with profundity and experience... and, again, elegant simplicity. I have "discipled" my share of people over the last 20 years, but never did I think to do it as he recommends -- with an eye towards obedience and multiplication over content. Neil gives advice like:

don't teach them anything new until they followed through on the last thing.
never teach a skill unless there is a felt need for it.
a skill is never learned until it is taught to another person

He simultaneously lowers the bar on mentoring while also raising it by taking us back to the way of Jesus and Paul. After reading this section, I immediately made changes in the way I was relating to a not-yet-Christian I am doing a Life Transformation Group with.

I also like the concluding section where Neil offers examples of new kinds of leaders in the movement who have given up traditional structures and roles for the sake of mission. Real life examples always help flesh out the multi-faceted look of what the author is describing and help open up our imagination to what the future holds for a new breed of leaders.

One final thing that I like about this book (and about Neil on the whole) is that he is not a mission deconstructionist who is just saying everything is broken. We don't need more of those! Neil Cole is very much a reconstructionist who is showing us a better way that 1.) he has lived out and seen reproduce internationally, and 2.) is actually rooted in Scripture. I think this is why he has been so readily embraced by people across the world as an ambassador of a more missional way. This reconstructionist orientation shows up in Organic Leadership quite often as he recommends [here it comes] simple and reproducible tools like the Seven Signs of Jesus from John's gospel, or Mentoring sheets that are profoundly simple, or Life Transformation Groups that are leaderless and multiply, or Truth Quest which teaches theology in community and with different points of view. Not a lot of Simple Church people are recommending alternative ways, but Neil is -- and churches across the world are multiplying as a result.

If you, like me, have long thought that something is off on the way that we "lead" in the church and long to know God's natural design for leadership that can truly transform the world, then I heartily recommend Organic Leadership for direction in this new way for a new time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9568ca38) out of 5 stars Far beyond the typical leadership book 29 Sept. 2009
By Henk-Jan van der Klis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens and Search & Rescue: Becoming a Disciple Who Makes a Difference is back with a rich volume on leadership. Like Frank Viola (Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities) Cole stresses the importance of churches as mentioned in the New Testament, taking the Bible as-is. Avoidance business like leadership and structure in church is one of the other main topcis. Subitled Leading Naturally Right Where You Are this book certainly is not a usual leadership / self help book. After stripping christian leadership from hierarchy, positions based on scholarship, paid salary and false dichotomies, copy-and-paste of success stories, etc. Cole takes four sections to work out a series of principles and lessons learned on real servant leadership (in an upside-down Kingdom), homegrown leadership, multiplication, learning, and life-on-life mentoring skills. Last and certainly not least the author goes as far as giving up ministries, leadership roles or even church as is and the delicate subject of payment for service in the church. Cole is a enthusiastic user of examples provided in movie pictures, proverbs, poetry and other literature to spice up his message. Nevertheless his message is explicit, hitting you in the face, so it's hard to put aside this book without changed mind & practical consequences.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95888f18) out of 5 stars Inspired to Plant! Organic Leadership: Book Review 24 Mar. 2012
By Darien Gabriel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Another leadership book? Yep. But Organic Leadership isn't your typical one.

And I am quickly becoming a Neil Cole fan. He doesn't tow the status quo in church-America, that's for sure. In fact, he challenges about every area of it. And his track record in fueling a movement of organic churches (similar to house) is impressive and growing. It's hard to ignore his influence these days.

After reading Church 3.0, I thought this would be a repeat. Not really. While Cole repeats things in his books, that's simply the nature of the beast. What he teaches is simple and bears repeating. The principles are found in Scripture so he's on solid ground. While you may disagree with some of his conclusions, you can see he's striving to follow Scripture.

While at times it feels like Cole battles a little insecurity when challenges "Church 2.0" (typical churches in America), he pushes through it. The truth is, we're all under construction. He just happens to be a little more transparent than maybe he realizes. All this just makes him human. He's authentic in other ways that I think strengthen his message too. He seems very down to earth about it all.

Cole tackles leadership from a disciple-making point of view. If you make disciples, you'll get your leaders. If you try to make leaders, you may or may not get disciples of Jesus. Good point!

Cole challenges status quo American church. Repeatedly. His point is that the church isn't multiplying and therefore must be doing something wrong. He thinks we need to lower the bar on what is required to do church and raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple. This strikes at the heart of the difference between mega-church and house church in his mind.

I thought the strength of this book was it's closing chapters. His chapter on "Embracing Death" was extremely challenging. It could be a mini-book on its own. In fact, at times I felt like this book kept going on and on and tried to put it down. But then I'd give it another try and be pulled back in to it's great content. Perhaps more needed to be edited out. I'd opt for cutting it into more books. It was a lot of material.

The final chapter was mini-stories of people who illustrated "Embracing Death" by planting organic churches. These were inspiring! I wanted to go plant one myself. They were believable stories of ordinary people (not super-Christians) that I felt like I could identify with. Result: Inspiration!

I think the mark of a great book is that it inspires you to act. I am inspired to plant as a result of reading organic leadership!
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