Neil Cole’s second part response to my article is up now. It’s good food for thought, but for the most part he’s offering his patented catch phrases, more than giving a personal response to the article.
Here is the response I posted to his concern for leadership development over leadership recruitment:
I appreciate your response to my article. It’s very true to the “organic way.” I suppose I’m seaking more of a hybrid model these days, a blending of the best I can find in both camps.
I understand where you’re coming from on the leadership issue. Using recruitment instead of development of leaders is a cop-out if consistently turned to as the answer.
There are few reasons however for being more open to leadership recruitment than you seem to represent: 1) Jesus always sent people in pairs, so it seems we’d always do well to recruit at least one leader join us, 2) leaders of the first century church are recorded transferring to where the evangelism fruit was to offer support (Barnabas to Antioch), 3) Paul regularly recruited a leadership entourage (Timothy, Silas, John Mark, etc…).
As much as I loved your book Organic Church, and grew from it immensely, I was unsettled on your willingness to throw young believers into leadership. I Tim 3:6 tells us not to allow new converts into leadership. The organic church I was a part of, as discussed in my article, needed new leaders to continue on. Faced with the choice of either recruiting leaders elsewhere, or bending God’s standards for leadership, I feel I sought the lesser of two evils in suggesting recruitment.