Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Search and rescue (the book) - pt. 1

I just read Neil Cole's book Search & Rescue: Becoming A Disciple Who Makes A Difference. I thought it was a good book, though I wish the first part of it had been shorter. He says on p. 12, "This book is about being the hero you were born to become"... and the first half of the book deals largely with his exploits as a lifeguard, alongside a study of 2 Timothy. It's not that it wasn't interesting or anything, but I'm not interested in being a 'hero'; I just want to make disciples - which he covers in a pretty simple and organized way in the second part of the book. Overall I liked it, and it was a quick and easy read.

The gist of the entire book centers around his Life Transformation Groups system (or LTG's). I had heard of this before, and it was nice to read about it in more detail. I have to admit, it did get me excited. So I will try to capture some of the bits and pieces that stuck out to me and share them with you. However, if you are interested in making more disciples, I recommend you get the book and read it for yourself. This is stuff that ANYONE can do. So, here goes part 1...
  • p. 20 - "The best lifeguards are not the ones who make the most rescues, but the ones who prevent the need for rescues."
  • p. 21 - "If Christians started to take responsibility for our communities and cities, began being more proactive in prayer, and established a real presence of grace and truth, we could have a huge impact."
  • p. 23 - "Real heroes do not emerge from places of comfort, elegance, and privilege, but from pain, hardship, and trouble. It is under the pressure of great diversity, conviction, and challenge that heroes are forged."
  • p. 28 - "...it's not special powers that make a real hero; it's courage and the willingness to be self-sacrificing to help a desperate person."
  • p. 29 - "Heroes may be found in a moment, but they are not made in a moment; it takes years. If we simply wait for a big crisis and hope we will respond right in that crucible, we are hanging a heavy weight on a very thin wire. Heroes are not made by dangerous circumstances, but they are recognized in them. Heroes are made in the simple decisions made each day in ordinary life... You cannot be selfish in all the little choices of life and expect to be self-sacrificing in the moment when it counts."
  • p. 32 - "Sleeping the sleep of innocence upon the bed of no regrets." (Dezi Baker)
  • p. 35 - 'Red pill vs. blue pill' scene from The Matrix... "You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes"... (see book).
  • p. 48 - "If we truly believed that the good news is what we say it is, we would not be ashamed to tell others about it. We could surmise that, if we really believed in our hearts that the good news is true, we would all be sharing it boldly. If you found a cure for cancer, you would not be shy about letting people know."
  • p. 49 - "When you choose to commit to Jesus, it's not the culmination of your salvation - it's the beginning."
  • p. 65 - "The kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self." (Chuck Colson)
  • p. 66 - "The closer I get to heaven, the more aware of hell I become." (Billy Graham)
  • p. 66 - "There is a paradox in the salvation process. We may think that as we grow closer to Christ's likeness, sin decreases and our need for the gospel aslo decreases, but this assumption is wrong. While it may be true that our life of obedience will include a decrease in sin, at the same time we should become more aware of sin and the grip it has had on our lives. Thus we should develop a more dependent attitude toward our Savior, his sacrifice and his ongoing ministry in our lives."
  • p. 70 - "The task is to make disciples; in fact, that is the actual imperative of the passage in the orginal Greek language. The rest of the commands (going... baptizing... teaching) are participles carrying the weight of the imperative to make disciples. In other words, the main thing is to make disciples, and the rest of the passage is about how to go about doing it."
  • p. 70-71 - "I have heard that if you took all those who are starting churches in the world and made a composite of the average church planter, she would be eighteen years old, Chinese, having read very few books, and without seminary training. The average American Christian already knows more than this hero who is starting dozens of churches each year. While we emphasize knowledge at the expense of obedience, it isn't what you know; it's what you do with what you know that is important."
Part 2 will be later...