Worth Reading: Search and Rescue by Neil Cole

One of the best books I read this summer was Search and Rescue: Becoming a Disciple Who Makes a Difference by Neil Cole. If you’re looking for a simple, personal, and inspirational approach to disciple making, get this book. It contains a lot of information from Cole’s previous two books Cultivating a Life for God and Organic Church, but it is repackaged and updated with the theme of Search and Rescue. I would still highly recommend reading the first two. Cole borrows from his experience as a life guard on California beaches to illustrate the task of making disciples. So, you can learn a great deal about rip currents and rescue swimming along with healthy disciple making. Cole shares his tried and true method of disciple making which involves gathering people into groups of two or three to confess sin to one another using accountability or character conversation questions, plant the word of God by taking the challenge of reading 3-5 chapters of Scripture daily, and reach the lost by praying for specific people to be saved from your personal network of relationships. Cole calls these groups Life Transformation Groups, but gives permission to call them what you want, even listing names being used by other churches and organizations. You may want to follow up as I have by purchasing Cole’s LTG cards which describe the process and offer suggested questions for the group. The author’s resources, articles, and newsletter can be found at www.cmaresources.org

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

 

  • “Jesus paid a steep price to call you out of darkness and into his light – not so you can be safe and comfortable, but so that your life can ignite others to live the same sort of life.” 
  • “We are called to make a difference in this world. More to the point, we are called to make this world different.” 
  •  “When the world sees the best we have to offer, they yawn. When they see God at work among us, there can be a chain reaction of power that sets a whole nation or world on fire with the gospel.”
  •  “I don’t think the non-Christian will take the cross seriously until we Christians take it seriously.”
  • “I want the influence of my life to go beyond the driving distance to my church and beyond my eulogy.”
  •  “Simply making disciples is not enough; your disciples must also make disciples, or the commission has not been accomplished. In a very real sense, your final exam is not taken by you, but by another person.”
  •  “…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.”
  • “Disciple making that truly reproduces is propelled by an intrinsic motivation. If we  need someone looking over our shoulder to either commend us or correct us, we will fail to see any movement that changes the world.”
  • “Lone Ranger Christian is an oxymoron.”
  • “We must first learn to reproduce disciples before we can reproduce leaders, churches, and movements.” 
  • “Indifference is not an option for any follower of Christ. Indifference is an insult to the initiative and sacrifice of Christ.”
  • “How do you spell faith? R-I-S-K.”
  •  “Will I choose a life that will take as many souls with me to heaven as I possibly can or will I just go to work?”
  •  “The church is suffering from a botteneck of teaching without obedience.” 
  • “Ultimately, each church will be evaluated by only one thing – its disciples. 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.”

Posted on September 26, 2008, in Books worth reading, Discipleship. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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