Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Search and rescue (the book) - pt. 4

This is the fourth and final (I think) posting of my notes from Neil Cole's book Search & Rescue: Becoming A Disciple Who Makes A Difference. You can find part 1 HERE, part 2 HERE, and part 3 HERE.

p. 180 - "It's time for Christian leaders in the Western church to make the same determination that these apostles made. Not that we need to lock ourselves up for an even longer time in our study, preparing for our sermons, but we need to be fed by a steady and voluminous intake of Scripture with no purpose other than to hear from God and obey his voice."

p. 183 - "Jerome, an early church father, once claimed that the Bible was shallow enough for a babe to wade in without fear of drowning yet deep enough for theologians to dive into without ever touching the bottom."

p. 185 - "The DNA for the healthy growth of disciples, leaders, churches, and movements is: (1) Divine Truth - the reading of Scripture introduces divine truth into the heart of the disciples and sets a foundation on which to build. (2) Nurturing Relationships - the confession of sins in a vulnerable yet safe relationship establishes the foundation of nurturing relationships. (3) Apostolic Mission - begging God for the souls of lost friends and family members on a daily basis is the foundation of a heart set on apostolic mission."

p. 185 - **** "Your church is only as good as her disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs, or property are; if your disciples are passive, needy, consumeristic, and not radically obedient, your church is not good." *****

p. 187 - "Christianity must mean everything to us before it will mean anything to others."

p. 190 - "One way to gauge ministry is to ask yourself, 'If the Holy Spirit were to back out of this effort, would it collapse?' Many ministries would continue because they are humanly produced programs." (the Navigators)

p. 193 - "...there is not a single command in Scripture to plant a church or to multiply small groups. There is a lot of church planting and multiplying of groups going on in the New Testament, but not because the church was instructed to do so. The reason that groups and churches multiplied is because the first generation of Christians was obeying Christ's very specific and simple command to make disciples. When Christians are obedient to this single command, it results in the multiplying of groups and churches. To attempt to multiply groups and churches without multiplying disciples is not only disobedient, it is downright impossible."

p. 197 - "ABC evaluation to determine if a disciple-making tool or method is a healthy or a faulty system: ACCESS - Does the tool continue to release the disciple to tap into his or her own access to God for guidance, power, and values rather than create an unhealthy dependence on others? BIBLE - Does the authority come directly from the Scripture or does the method simply use the Scripture to borrow undue authority for the system itself? COMPASSION - Does the tool catalyze the compassion of Christ for others from the heart rather than from obligation or duty?

p. 198 - "I don't think hell is our greatest threat right now... The real question we need to ask is, 'What will we do when all heaven breaks loose in our churches?' Would we be prepared if revival really came? Can we handle the lack of control? Can our egos manage not having the answers? Could we be comfortable with the chaos? Our church structures, our doctrinal statements, and our denominational polities and distinctives are insufficient to contain the wealth and the power of heaven. Heaven is beyond our grasp, beyond our comprehension, and beyond our control. Perhaps we should count the cost before we pray, 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'"

p. 200 - "When Jesus spoke of an entry point into salvation and the kingdom of God, he didn't attempt to lower the standard so that more could enter in. He did the very opposite. He said, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'"

p. 201 - "If an aircraft flies thirty-five thousand feet, the air pressure in the cabin must be equalized to make people comfortable - and to survive. In the same way, the more we read the Scripture and pray, the better prepared we will be to handle life's external pressures."

p. 208 - "Poor Disciple Selection Syndrome"... "It is very important to find desperate sinners if we want to make disciples..."

p. 211 - "Jesus told us that there were four kinds of soil and only one was good soil and produced fruit (Mark 4:3-20). Expect to lose some of your seed in less than fertile soil."

p. 215 - ***** "If suddenly all the garbage collection trucks broke down, everyone in town would soon know about it. If all waiters and waitresses were suddenly sick and unable to work, many of us would go hungry. If teachers couldn't work, we would have a crisis on our hands. But if all the churches in your community suddenly disappeared, would the average person in your town even notice? If just your church closed its doors for good, would people who live within a fifteen-mile radius even know about it?" *****

p. 217 - "The issue of slavery provides us with an interesting comparison between England and the United States. On this side of the Atlantic, we attempted to settle the issue with a war, and it was the bloodiest war in all our history, especially considering every casualty was one of our own. It is called the Civil War, but there was little civil about it. Eventually the war won the freedom of black people in our country, but don't be deceived, we are still battling this war in our nation. The 'civil war' has ended, but the battle over 'civil rights' continues./ England, however, did not shed a drop of blood to overcome slavery, and they have not had nearly as much difficulty getting along after freedom was acquired. Why? Because slavery was overcome in England by the revival of God's people. Their hearts were changed from within rather than being ruled from legislation and the barrel of a musket... (continued)."

p. 219 - "We must not become content with lesser things."

p. 220 - "If truck drivers can have a big impact on our society, how much more someone who loves Jesus with his or her whole life? Shouldn't we at least try?"

p. 221 - "Legalism is a very severe threat to the church and is not treated lightly in the Scriptures. There is no other sin in the New Testament that receives a more severe condemnation."

p. 221-222 - "The intent of questions is not to define what sin and righteousness are but to be a platform for opening up discussion about what is going on in one's character development."

p. 223ff - some really good accountability questions from a variety of places. I will likely put some of them in a separate post later.

That's all. Peace out; and in.