Organix

Bob Whitesel
Abingdon, $28.95

If you are over 35, it’s too late for you to read this book.

Following his research, Bob Whitesel squeezes leadership in North American churches into two categories: “Modern” and “Millennial”.

The autocratic leadership of the older “modern” church structure proves to be resistant to change and restricts development of new approaches.

In contrast, “millennial” leadership (from generation Y and perhaps late X) allows for wide participation, facilitating “an organic church … a group of Jesus’ followers discovering how to live together and expressing that life in a corporate way.”

The result is an organism, the authenticity of which is characterised by consensus, honesty and evaluation.

Of particular interest are his suggestions for churches, where there are separate traditional and contemporary services. “Out with the old” will alienate a loyal generation and “blended worship has just about enough of everything to make just about everybody mad”, whereas Mosaic churches retain the best of the old and allow for the creativity of the new.

He reiterates that a healthy church is not a church “with small groups” but a church “of small groups”. Modern technology creates opportunities to develop an “online” community as the church shares the good news.

Bob wants to keep his cake and eat it too as he confesses to being over 35.

John Atkinson

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