Recommended Books

Churches have tried all kinds of ways to attract new and younger members – revised vision statements, hipper worship, contemporary music, livelier sermons, bigger and better auditoriums. But there are still so many people who aren’t being reached, who don’t want to come to church. And the truth is that attendance at church on Sundays does not necessarily transform lives; God’s presence in our hearts is what changes us. Leaders and laypeople everywhere are realizing that they need new and more powerful ways to help them spread God’s Word. According to international church starter and pastor Neil Cole, if we want to connect with young people and those who are not coming to church, we must go where people congregate. Cole shows readers how to plant the seeds of the Kingdom of God in the places where life happens and where culture is formed – restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, parks, locker rooms,and neighborhoods. Organic Church offers a hands-on guide for demystifying this new model of church and shows the practical aspects of implementing it.

Written for those who are trying to nurture authentic faith communities and for those who have struggled to retain their faith, The Tangible Kingdom offers theological answers and real-life stories that demonstrate how the best ancient church practices can re-emerge in today’s culture, through any church of any size. In this remarkable book, Hugh Halter and Matt Smay “two missional leaders and church planters” outline an innovative model for creating thriving grass-roots faith communities.

 

 

Jim bought a soul on eBay…or rather rented it for a time to spiritually inform it as the fine print stated. The flurry of media attention surrounding it spurred Jim to write a book about how churches are perceived by the unchurched, and searched to find an atheist who would fit the bill and be up to the challenge. Matt Casper picked up the gauntlet, and visited some of the best known mega-churches in America with Jim, along with some little known organic churches (mostly Emergent congregations, which seem more like Jim’s preference). This is that book.
What could have been a dry rehashing of the obvious in the places of worship that they visited opens instead like a long conversation between two new friends who share a very open dialogue concerning matters of faith. Whether you agree with everything taught at these churches or not, Jim and Casper Go to Church gives you a glimpse inside some of the highest profile places and movements in contemporary American religion, including T.D. Jakes’ Potter’s House, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Complex, and Erwin McManus’ Mosaic. Casper’s blunt assessments sometimes collide with Jim’s assumptions about how the services are perceived, but they maintain an informative and friendly discourse covering a lot of ground in the debates of relevancy inside church communities and how well churches embrace unbelievers inside their sanctuaries.

Church 3.0Church needs an upgrade! Church 1.0 turned the world upside down in the first century. In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine institutionalized the Church, giving us Church 2.0. Church has remained relatively the same since. Sure we have had many variations, Church 2.1, 2.3.1, 2.4, etc, but it’s basic form has not changed, until now! Get ready for Church 3.0, which has already begun, and will have the power and influence of Church 1.0, but with significant upgrades, utilizing new technology and knowledge from the mistakes of Church 2.0. Neil Cole has taking the words right of of my mouth. This is what I have been longing for, for some time now.

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