leaders who are wondering how they can be more effective in serving Jesus and His bride. Whether you are leading a rapidly expanding network of organic churches, or you lead in a church that has been established in a more traditional manner, the insights in this book will help you gain a more missional perspective and release more potent influence in your community.
Why did you write Church 3.0?
Ever since I wrote Organic Church, I have been asked the same set of questions wherever I go: “How do you prevent heresy in groups led by non-seminarian leaders?”, “What do you do for children?”, “How do you handle finances?”, “Do you have larger meetings of the saints?” and many others. Church 3.0 addresses all those questions, showing how we can actually do better, much better, than we have done in the past.
Who did you write Church 3.0 for?
As I was writing, I was thinking about Christian
How is Church 3.0 different from your previous books?
Church 3.0 is written from the inside of a growing movement. There are a ton of new insights, backed up with lots of research and experience in this book. It deals with questions from an insider’s perspective, and the answers also come with the realism of experience and lots of failed attempts.
What’s one problem you address in the book?
Everyone in the church is suffering from the “One-Size-Fits-All Syndrome”. House church people tend to think that having a church of about 15 people will solve all our problems, but this just isn't true. Megachurch proponents think that the larger the size of your church the better you are, but this is also not true. The truth is that we need to think about different sized groupings of people for the holistic mission of the church.
In many ways 12-15 people is either too large or too small for what the Spirit of God wants to accomplish. Likewise 200, 2,000 or 20,000 can be either too large or perhaps too small to accomplish many of the meaningful purposes of the body of Christ, but churches of those sizes may still have a place in expressing something important to the world.
Why upgrade to Church 3.0?
The early church of the first two centuries was Church 1.0, and Constantine ushered in Church 2.0 when he mainstreamed Christianity. Since then churches of all sizes have simply been variations of this system. Church 3.0 is a true upgrade to a new, healthier expression of church.
I do not believe that God wants us to go back to Church 1.0 after two thousand years of lessons learned. The gospel of Jesus Christ is too great to simply try and go back to the way things were. He deserves something new and even better.
The opportunities that are before us in this world, the lessons learned by two thousand years of mistakes, the building of scholarship, advances in technology and the constant abiding of the Holy Spirit all lead me to think we can upgrade our church life rather than try to go backward to the good old days. I would hope that we can improve upon church in the future. And I would be disappointed if we do not continue improving as we learn in the future. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever; but our world is different, so we need to adapt and thrive in a new day.
What do you hope readers take away from the book?
I really hope that the book will enlighten Christian leaders to see the church as a fluid movement rather than a static institution. Whether you lead a large megachurch or a small house church, this book will expand your thinking about the missional character of the church and help address what is necessary to release healthier expressions of church that can be fruitful and multiply to the ends of the earth.
What is your background?
I was raised in a home without Christ. In college as an art student I became a Christian and started trying to make disciples, grow leaders and start new churches. Over the years I have been on the staff of a megachurch, pastored a smaller community church and led growing networks of organic churches. I know the strengths and weaknesses of all these expressions and try to address many of them in this book.
I've been married to Dana for 27 years and have three beautiful kids: Heather (24), Erin (21) and Zach (18). I travel around the world planting the seeds of the Organic Church movement. I innovate new strategies, teach, train, coach and write.
Neil Cole is the author of Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens, Organic Leadership, and Search & Rescue. You can connect with Neil through his blog, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.