Myth #8 – Organic Church is a Monolithic Movement
Many believers are trying to get a “handle” of understanding on what we mean when we use the phrase “organic church”. Personally, I am finding the whole issue very tiring and am about ready to give up using that term altogether! Many are now calling it the OC (for organic church) like they did for the IC (institutional church). The term is very much in vogue and many (even on this blog) are calling for more explanation and definition. Many are calling us folk that use that term things like “the organic community” and “organic church people”. Personally, I don’t like such labels because it tends to sound like we are separating ourselves from the rest of Christ’s Body and that is just not true. I am a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ – plain and simple! I am a member of His Body just like every other born-from-above believer. My spiritual family consists of all of those who have the Christ living inside of them.
What About Movements?
As I have already stated in another blog post, I do not believe what we see happening today is either a movement or anything new. Twice in my own lifetime have I seen similar stirrings of the Spirit towards a more organic way of being the Church. One was in the late 60’s early 70’s and it was affectionately called The Jesus People Movement. My wife and I came to Christ during that time. The center was only Jesus (hence the name) and there was much freedom, community, and spiritual life. Unfortunately, another movement, that was authoritarian in nature, quenched much of the Jesus people thing. Then, there was the house church movement of the late 80’s early 90’s. This was also somewhat of a return to the biblical way of meeting and living the Lord’s life.
But there were also many other moves of God throughout history when believers left the institutional system for a more biblical and organic way of church. Some of those groups were the Priscillians, the Bogomils, the Waldensians, the Anabaptists, Moravians, Plymouth Brethren, Little Flock, etc. Here again, many people were leaving the conventional/traditional churches to seek Christ in the midst of body life. These groups were all different in various ways but all could be called “organic”. They all saw organic to mean that the life of Christ would be flowing in and through His people to bring about an expression. That expression would be His Body, the Church. What would this expression look like? It would look like Him – Jesus Christ in corporate form! It would contain all of His characteristics, nature, and life.
Not a Movement
So I would say it is not a movement or perhaps (if it is) then we could say that it is THE movement of God throughout the ages. It is the one thing that God is focused on. It is the one thing that He is relentless to pursue until it comes to full fruition in this realm. It is His eternal purpose and the thing that has been in His heart since before creation. It is that His Son would be the Center, Life, Head, and Sum Total of all things visible and invisible (Ephesians chapter 1).
Organic church cannot be monolithic because it is the actual life of God being expressed in a vessel; an image; a body; a house. I know people who have experienced organic church life in college. They were a part of a campus ministry and lived together with other believers most of the time. They shared Christ together and experienced much of the organic life during that time. Others have experienced some of this on mission trips or other ministries where they spent much time together with other believers. The expression can vary but the life comes from the same Source. The results are always the same; a deep love for the Lord and for one another; an embracing of the cross to let go of the soul-life; and a deeper experience of Him personally and with the other believers.