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Search & Rescue: Becoming a Disciple Who Makes a Difference Hardcover – April 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A Tool for Rescue Neil Cole has discovered a simple and powerful tool for accomplishing the task of making and multiplying committed disciples. He calls this method the Life Transformation Group (LTG). The LTG is a group of two or three people who meet together weekly for three essential disciplines: confession of sin, steady intake of Scripture, and prayer for others who need Christ. The genius of the LTG is that it is simple and transferable, making it naturally self-proliferating and an appropriate tool for any cultural or church context. Outlining this system, Search & Rescue will benefit pastors, church leaders, and anyone interested in fulfilling the Great Commission.

From the Back Cover

The world needs heroes. Are you one of them? Church planter and pastor Neil Cole knows about saving lives: he is a former California beach lifeguard. In Search & Rescue, he takes the lessons learned from that experience and applies them to our mission of rescuing people from darkness and leading them into the kingdom of God. Cole presents a passionate and moving plea to continue the work of rescue, along with a simple, proven plan for doing so: the Life Transformation Group. "Simple, uncluttered, apostolic, organic, and eminently doable. I heartily recommend this book to you."--From the foreword by Alan Hirsch, author, The Forgotten Ways and The Shaping of Things to Come "Neil has written a much-needed book. More than raising up pastors and church leaders, the key issue today is raising up disciples if we want to see lives changed and radical transformations take place in our society. What Neil recommends makes a difference."--Bob Roberts, pastor, NorthWood Church; author, Transformation, Glocalization, and The Multiplying Church "Search & Rescue actually works. Neil Cole's network of friends and co-workers is the fastest-growing informal fellowship of believers in the Western world. Why? Because it instantly attracts every person who desires an exciting role as a genuine hero in the greatest adventure of our time."--James Rutz, author, Megashift "In this practical book, Neil gives you everything you need to start patrolling your own beach if you want to get serious about lifesaving efforts."--Reggie McNeal, author, The Present Future "Warning! This is not another self-help book; it will challenge you to save others' lives. If you read it, believe it, and do it, God will use your life to change the world."--Jaeson Ma, lead director, Campus Church Networks; author, The Blueprint "Cole makes Christian disciple making come alive. A captivating story that is solidly biblical and down to earth, with practical application. Right on target!"--Robert E. Coleman, distinguished professor of evangelism and discipleship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author, The Master Plan of Evangelism
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801013097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801013096
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love everything by Neil Cole, and this book is no different. If you've never read anything by him, this is the book to read.

However, if you read Cultivating a Life for God and/or Organic Church this book will be full of deja vu. Aside from numerous new stories about life guarding, this book is basically just an updated remix of these two previous books.

Nevertheless, though I have read his other books, I was still glad to read this one because it helped remind me of the important concepts that Cole presents.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was introduced to the principles in the 2nd half of the book earlier in my church planting journey. I only wish I paid closer attention back then. I simply didn't have the maturity and perspective to see disciple-making at the core of church planting. Despite having two seminary masters' degrees and being a favored student in my church planting classes, four years into my first planting experience I came to the shocking realization that I didn't know how to make disciples outside of "preach it; program it, and they will come."

Cole's books have been a God-send to me to help me think about disciple-making as Jesus and Paul did it, and also to help me think about biblical values like multiplication and reproducibility. Search and Rescue is his most updated treatise on the fundamentals of disciple-making that provides us with an updated example of his movement's disciple-making tool (the Life Transformation Group) that is being used all over the world. Whether people in urban Western settings to people in the African bush, thousands upon thousands of men and women are using this simple, reproducible tool to make more and stronger disciples everywhere. It seems to me the closest thing to what John Wesley and the Circuit Riders used to disciple those were coming to Jesus en masse: leaderless, simple, obedience-oriented, and reproducible. I see their value, not only as a student of history, theology and mission, but also as a practicing pastor/church-planter. We introduced LTGs organically into our church community and began watching people start to do crazy missional things like ministering to day workers, the homeless, under-performing elementary schools.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Neil's publisher would not allow him to call this book Ordinary Hero. It has since been published as a separate book. So if you have one you have the other. Neil was nice enough to tell us this. Also, this book was previously published under another title: Cultivating a Life for God. Neil let us in on this as well. The earlier version was expanded, so buying the latter books is best. Mainly this book tells of Life Transformation Groups or LTG's. These are discipleship groups of two or three believers. There are character questions and scripture reading to accomplish and discuss each week. Neil tells us that faithful users of this discipleship idea grow very quickly in the faith that Jesus calls us to. I'm happy to have shared this with believers in at least four other lands. Sending one out today to Malaysia. Blessings to Neil Cole, thanks for this book. bd
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Format: Hardcover
Neil Cole's Organic Church was an overnight success. I have referred back to several times for organic church principles that have shaped Austin City Life. However, Cole's newest book Search and Rescue: Becoming a Disciple Who Makes a Difference struggles to stay afloat.

The hyper-sensitive Calvinist shouldn't judge the book by its cover. This is not an Arminian tirade on Calvinist failures at mission, though recent research appears to support such conclusions. Using the metaphor of "search and rescue", Cole is not trying to make a statement regarding Total Depravity, that we are alive and afloat in our sin, versus dead and drowned in depravity. Rather, Cole uses his lifeguard experience as an illustration of how the church should make disciples, which includes "seeking and saving the lost". And here is his where the book begins to drown.

Part 1

The book is littered with pictures and inundated with stories from Cole's lifeguard days in California. I'm all for a good illustration, but Cole takes this way too far, dominating the entire book. Not only is this filler, it obscures some of his helpful comments on discipleship. In addition to riding the wave of lifeguard stories, in the first half of the book, Cole also attempts to surf 2 Timothy for discipleship principles and insights. Unfortunately, he offers mainly superficial observations and poor exegesis, particularly his comments on why we should not follow the reward structure of farmer/athlete/soldier in 1 Timothy 2 at a motivation for discipleship. He doesn't seem to get Christian Hedonism. However, it's great to see him addressing the notion of motivation in discipleship, in which he deconstructs religion and other forms of external motivation, pointing to the gospel as "that which transforms the soul" (97).
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By A. Moman on February 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This LTG model presented here as absolutely revolutionized my discipleship ministry. I have seen friends I work with grow more over these past few weeks doing this method than any book we have ever done. I am pumped up for what God will continue to do. This book reads easily and presents the thought process and research involved in the method - and the simplicity of it is its beauty. Definitely purchase this if you are on the fence - worth it!
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