Monday, March 5

'Top Ten' Neil Cole Quotes

10. If you want to win this world to Christ, you are going to have to sit in the smoking section.

9. If we can't see them, we won't love them (Matt.9:36).
If we can't love them, we won't pray for them (9:36-38).
If we can't pray for them, we won't win them (10:1).
If we can't win them, we won't send them (10:2-5).

Bad people make good soil--there's a lot of fertilizer in their lives.

7. Simplicity is the key to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation. If the process is complex, it will break down early in the transference to the next generation of disciples. The more complex the process, the greater the giftedness needed to keep it going. The simpler the process, the more available it is to the broader Christian populace.

6. There are two kinds of lost people in the world, the moths and the cockroaches. In the darkness, it's impossible to tell them apart, so the best way to discover the difference is to turn the light on. The moths will be drawn to the light, and the cockroaches will flee.

5. Though we long for fresh fruit, many of our efforts at growing it leave us with nothing but mud because we have failed to plant the seed that brings life. It does not matter how good you are at fertilizing, watering, cultivating, and harvesting. If you do not plant the seed, you will never have a harvest--never.

4. We must invest everything in the few who will bear fruit. Life is too short and the potential yields are too great to spend our lives babysitting fruitless people.

3. We would do much better as leaders in the Church to learn at the feet of the farmer rather than study with the CEO...It is time we see that the Church starts in the fields, not in the barns.

2. We have taught people to be consumers rather than workers. We have made a terrible mistake by separating the convert from the worker. They are not two, but one. Each new convert is a worker--immediately.

1. We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple.

Honorable Mentions:

*Jesus shows us that the workers must come from the harvest itself. He transforms the twelve from being disciples in chapter ten verse one to being apostles in verse two. They went from praying for the harvest to preaching in the harvest in one verse.

*Let's face it: if we can't multiply a group of two or three, then we should forget about multiplying a group of fifteen to twenty. By focusing on the simple, we actually can see dramatic results in the complex.

*The resources needed for a great harvest are already found in the harvest itself--finances, facilities, future leaders. All we need is to get out there and reap. There is much power in 'showing up'.

*What is needed for a harvest? Prayer and workers. The more prayer we offer, the more workers we will see. The more workers raised up, the greater the harvest.

*Instead of bringing people to church so that we can then bring them to Christ; let's bring Christ to people where they live.

*We believe that church should happen wherever life happens. You shouldn't have to leave life to go to church.


S.A.M. said...

Great list. I'm #8!

Darrell said...

Any insight into #4? How long do we continue with those who are not bearing fruit? You have written about unresponsiveness. It is my observation that often with baby believers they take time to transform. They are slow to bear fruit, but then at some point they take off. What are the guidelines?

J. Guy Muse said...


I identify with all of them, but #1 is my favorite and says in few words what we try to do in our own ministry.


Guidelines? In his book, "Organic Church" Neil talks a lot about this subject. My own rule of thumb is the "80/20 Principle": 80% of one's time/energy for the 20% actually bearing fruit; 20% of time/energy for the 80% NOT bearing fruit.

Mike said...

Wow, I love your blog. What a great list. It's confirming, it's convicting. Whew! I have his book on my shelf. I now MUST read it.

Tim Patterson said...

Okay Guy, you convinced me... I am going to start reading Neil Cole.

Strider said...

I was just given his book, I will start reading tonight.
My favorite was actually the last.

*We believe that church should happen wherever life happens. You shouldn't have to leave life to go to church.

This alone would radically transform what we mean by 'church'.
Good stuff.

J. Guy Muse said...

Mike, Tim, and Strider,

All of you comment you have the book and are going to begin to reading. It really is a good read and brings a twist to "house church" that needs twisting in that the emphasis needs to be on organic rather than what often becomes inward-looking house churches.

All three of you have great blogs, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...


Where does Neil Cole say, " We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple"? Do you recall which page or chapter of Organic Church that is in?



Steve Simms said...

Great quotes.