Organic Church: Full of Crap?

The Web has had been a-buzz with some conversation about my native church milieu, ‘organic’ church – aka house church or simple church. Folks meeting in homes, rather decentralized, certainly de-clericalized. Senior Christianity Today editor Mark Galli wishes organic churchers well, but is concerned that we might burn out on our lofty ideals.

What I worry about is the coming crash of organic church. And after that, I worry about the energetic men and women at the forefront of the movement. Will they become embittered and abandon the church, and maybe their God?

Some folks think this is over-dramatic – including Neil Cole, who responded to Galli’s editorial here. (Update: Frank Viola has responded too.) But others, like my friend Neil Carter, were writing about the death of idealism in organic church before they even read Galli’s piece. Carter finds himself looking at organic church on the outside after 10 years as an insider: Far from breathing the rarified air of ‘changing the world’ (as Cole suggests organic churches do) or ‘revolutionizing the history and practice of the church’ (as the house church stream Carter & I share proclaims as one of its goals), Carter is now churching with that most ubiquitous (and some would say, boring) of tribes: Southern Baptists. Reflecting on this, Carter writes:

It’s funny how you can age ten years in the space of just one, while at other times you can go ten years and hardly age a year. It’s a variable process, it turns out. It’s all about what you learn — what you experience in the space of a year. Having said that, I feel I’ve aged more years than I know how to count just in the last 12 months.

Specifically, he recounts a major compromise with his ideals in allowing some professional pastor dude baptize his youngest daughter – even though he baptized his first two daughters himself as part of his former house church community, in a swimming pool. He quotes a coupla Michael Caine flicks – “Obsession is a young man’s game” and “Idealism is youth’s final luxury.” Neil’s only about five years older than me, but he’s musing, as Blink-182 did a decade ago, “I guess this is growing up.”

Or is it?

Do-it-yourself New Testament scholar Bill Heroman – whom I also shared a living room with, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – thinks the organic church movement is full of crap – in a good way. “The challenge,” he says, “is sustainability.”

Human systems last a long time mainly by suppressing the human element that challenges established traditions, but that same human element also provides authenticity and vitality. Thus, the best way to survive for a long time is to be nearly dead. Nature, naturally, sustains itself quite differently. The work God needs to do within a local body of believers will always be messy, but Institutional Christendom keeps peons & yokels from participating precisely because they make messes. The shift is: who says messes are bad? Antiseptic works well for hospitals and elementary schools, but not in gardens or forests. After all, crap makes good fertilizer, and God is a gardener.

God is a gardener, and we – our individual lives, collective lives, our history and our institutions – are compost. Just like the Holy Spirit, Sarayu, in The Shack: She is unoffended by our messiness and our chaos. Indeed, it is beautiful to her.

So thanks, Bill, for stealing my metaphor. :)

Even so – I understand and respect my friends like Neil Carter, who find themselves outside of these more ‘ideal-laden’ patterns of doing and being church – whether by necessity or shifting sensibilities. It’s an internal tug-of-war, sometimes. Even though I’m far more interested in liturgical and traditional elements (from the ‘compost’ of our history) than I once was, I’m as opposed to clericalism as I’ve ever been. Even so, I’m not at all opposed to leadership – even strong leadership – as some in the organic stream are. Leadership is, it helps, and not everyone is gifted at it. That said, any leadership modeling itself remotely on that of Jesus or even Paul will be continuously giving power away – “You feed them!” “Try this!” and not seeking its own self-preservation. Because while we’re not all ‘leaders,’ we are all priests.

What does this look like, practically? These days I’m drawing inspiration from the 70-year-old Church of the Saviour cluster of churches in the D.C. area (read Inward Journey, Outward Journey by Elizabeth O’ Connor! Do it now!), as well as the 30-year-old St. Gregory of Nyssa congregation in San Francisco (do yourself a favor and pre-order Sara Miles’ new book Jesus Freak: Feeding/Healing/Raising the Dead). While these fellowships are older than the current ‘organic’ church nomenclature’s popular use – and they certainly have the trappings of Galli’s ‘smells and bells’ in significant ways – to me they embody composted communities; not experiments in puritan house-cleaning, but groups who are full-of-crap and they know it. It’s from this rich, loamy soil that they can sprout the Spirit’s life afresh in each generation.

47 Responses to “Organic Church: Full of Crap?”


  1. 1 Adam January 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Hey Mike – good post (and thanks for the links). I’m right with you. Some day we need to meet in person. We just have too much history in common with all this (with house church and then emerging church).

    I’m going to have to think through these things and where exactly I stand right now. I’m still very appreciative of my experience in house church, and like you, I’m still holding on to a lot I gained from it.

    I was actually just recently talking to our mutual friend Rishi about something similar. I was thinking back to ten years ago when we were idealistic college students beginning to explore house church and wanting to “‘revolutionize the history and practice of the church.” I was wondering if we sold out along the way. Rishi is still in “house church” and I’m not, but neither of us have ended up quite where we would have dreamed ten years ago. I’m still not sure what to think about it, and I’d like to think we’re still pretty idealistic, but in new ways.

    Anyways, I’m just thinking/reminiscing aloud here…

  2. 2 jspiers January 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    The “home church” idea is not new (just look at the shepherding movement, for example) and I have had many exciting services in a home setting while growing up. The earliest New Testament churches were obviously “home” churches as well.

    I agree with your general premise whether for home churches or “institutionalized” churches… getting the new and uninitiated involved is vital, both for their sake and for the sake of the body, which needs their enthusiasm and love for God. Messes are not necessarily bad… Paul and Barnabas split after their argument over Mark, and reached twice as many that way. Considering their eventual reconciliation, I would assume that they parted civilly and managed to keep their religion, as it were, over their disagreement. If God couldn’t turn our lemons into most excellent lemonade, he wouldn’t be the God I believe him to be!

  3. 3 zoecarnate January 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Adam, we totally need to meet sometime! I really admire the way(s) in which you and Rishi are living out your growing, changing ideals – it’s encouraging to see what’s possible for a post-housechurch (post-emergent?) communal expression. The more things change…

    I don’t suppose you’re going to the AAR or SBL meetings this fall, are you? They’re both in Atlanta in November (at different times). We should be living in the ATL by then!

  4. 4 ed cyzewski January 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Great post Mike. I agree that we’ve come to expect a more slick and sanitized version of Christian fellowship than is possible.

    Also, I think we often hang on to our meetings beyond their intended “shelf life.” Sometimes we need to move on to the next thing God has, without idolizing “new” things, and let go of what worked in the past. Dead churches have essentially become monuments to what worked in the past.

    A seminary professor and friend of mine said that all organizations are inherently immoral (a la Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society), even if they are “Christian” organizations. I’ve been chewing on that one for a while and it helps me appreciate the decentralized, shifting nature of home meetings.

  5. 5 Adam January 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    And by the way, I have been very very interested in St. Gregory’s for awhile. Looking forward to Sara Miles’ new book. Have you been out to St. Gregory’s? I would love to go some time.

    Not planning to be at AAR or SBL this year…we’ll have to figure out something else. Are you in Raleigh still? but moving back to ATL eventually?

  6. 6 zoecarnate January 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I’ve not been to St. Gregory’s yet, but Jasmin & I got spend an afternoon with Sara and Paul Fromberg in Atlanta, where they shared about their pantry-from-the-altar and did a simple St. Gregory’s-style liturgy with everyone present. That was about two years ago, and Jasmin & I agree that was the last great, truly beautiful gathering we were part of (sadly enough). I have an open invitation to spend a week with them there; I’m trying to clear my schedule.

    And OMG! I just finished reading the galley of Sara’s latest, and it singed my hair off! It totally deserves the ridiculously over-the-top praise Anne Lamott, McLaren, Rob Bell, Phyllis T. and others lavish on it here. Look for my review within the week.

    Yeah, we’re still in Raleigh, but hoping to get our ducks in a row to get our move on before the April 1 first-time homebuyers’ tax credit expires. We’ll miss the Triangle, NC area, but it’ll be good to be back in Atlanta.

  7. 7 Ira January 14, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I confess to being amused by the similarity here to tropes in house-church and emergent discourse about the institutional church — whose demise is (like Jesus, perhaps) always coming but apparently never arrives.

    In other words, people who leave the “institutional church” like to say that it is crumbling. People who leave the house church milieu like to say it’s crumbling. I think the safest thing to say is that these people are saying it [whichever “it” might be] crumbled for them.

    Churches and even denominations may come and go, but the institutional church as a species is not endangered. Likewise, individual house church experiments may wither and die, and the role of house churches in the global picture may wax and wane, but some form of “organic church” or another will likely be around for a long time.

  8. 8 zoecarnate January 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts, jspiers & Ed!

    I know that some of my longtime house church sisters and brothers might think I’ve sounded pretty cranky toward the whole ‘scene’ these past several years, but I really think that the movement/phenomenon/whatever we call it could be poised to really come of age in the next five years. Part of what will help this happens is to drop the adolescent ‘puritan’ attitude (“Look how terrible 99% of church history has been; we can do it better”) and adopting more of a messy-spirituality, holiness-is-contagious, Jesus-y compost ethos. I’m all for that kind of organic church movement.

  9. 9 zoecarnate January 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Ira, you just read my mind. See the comment I posted simultaneously with yours.

  10. 10 Steve January 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I am convinced that if we focus on our structures we will miss the point – that we are to love all. I am in a simple church. I find that it suits me. Yet I know people who thrive in highly organized and hierarchical structures. By thrive I mean that they practice love and are loved. Church was meant to be done in any culture. Since by its nature it is transcultural, I can understand why we have so many different ways of doing church. If we get caught in comparing ourselves amongst ourselves we divide ourselves. But if we focus on loving our brethren/sistren , even those in megachurches, we cannot loose.

    Our question needs to be how do we love those in structures and doctrinal stances we find difficult or confining instead of revolutionizing them. After all, Jesus is their Lord, not us.

  11. 11 Laurence E. Schell January 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I have been a part of a house church. We fizzled. Not sure where to fellowship now. The crap was definitely good.

    One thing concerns me about the house church movement. There is this implicit criticism of institutional Christianity. In the times we are in, Christian institutions are important. They represent a power block in our society, a check on government control of Christians. Whenever government wants to control Christians, it always chooses the small groups.

    It’s kind of like saying that Christians should not get involved in politics, because it doesn’t work. In fact, that’s the opposite of the truth. More Christians ought to be involved, because it’s changing things. It is fashionable to think that institutional Churches don’t work. But there are a number of reasons that’s not true. They are keepers of sacred and theological legacies for one. Not all traditions are bad. What will we do when Christians are no longer educated about their legacies, when the repositories of those things have all closed their doors?

    And how effective can the house church movement be in uniting and organizing to resist tyranny?

    One might object that house churches are the best form of resistance. That might be, if one is satisfied meeting in caves. I’d like to have a better vision than that. Not for our country. Organizing can help keep us out of the caves.

  12. 12 dom January 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    It strikes me that this conversation is biased towards viewing “organic church” as some kind of outsider movement. Why aren’t these same people talking about the inevitable death of the institutional church?

    If all things must die, then institutional churches have far outlived their expiration date.

    If not all things must die, then why is this a given?

    • 13 Laurence E. Schell January 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      This is an example of what I was talking about in my comment. The institutional church made it through the Roman persecutions, the dark ages, the reformation, the enlightenment, the French revolution, and modern America, to name but a few. In fact, it even made it through Communism too.

  13. 14 Bill January 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Great words, Mike. Btw, I’m convinced the Spirit’s life already “sprouts afresh in each generation.” My concern is more that we learn to let it sprout afresh within our own time, even if that sprouting tears topsoil asunder and refaces the growing surface from time to time. (I mean within the experience of one local body, over a decade or more.)

    Your metaphor was macro (trans- and inter-generational). Mine’s micro (uni- and intra-generational). You smelling me now? 😉

    Btw, on leadership: I noticed recently that the disciples felt perfectly comfortable bossing Jesus around, too, even though he didn’t always follow their commands. Just a footnote…

  14. 15 Bill January 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Dom – your observations suggest one of three possibilities: if the IC cannot die, then it must either be non-living, dead or undead.

    There’s a metaphor for you, Mike, to replace the one you think I stole: zombie churches. But I suppose you probably beat me to that, also? 😉

    • 16 Laurence E. Schell January 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      The institutional church can be alive, with thousands of believers worshiping God passionately as miracles are performed. A good question for house churchers: When was the last time you went to a really great musical worship service? I know the answer for 90 percent of you. You snuck off to an institutional church so you could enjoy that aspect of it.

  15. 17 zoecarnate January 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Bill, I have an entire zombie church section on zoecarnate.com! I’ve been a chief prpoponent of the Undead Church Movement for a decade now…😉

  16. 18 Bill January 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Why am I not surprised? 😉

  17. 19 Andrew Tatum January 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I really like the composting metaphor and I’ve posted my thoughts here. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 20 Lynda Meyers January 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Mike,

    I love your metaphor, as well as Bill’s quote. I think some churches and movements can also be “geographically challenged” ie struggle with social and cultural strongholds that keep traditions alive, even in the case of the dead church. Some churches you’ve mentioned that are “doing it better than average” are in large metropolitan areas that probably draw on a culturally varied and open populations.

    Some of my best friends are full of crap🙂 I like them that way!!

  19. 21 lawdawg23 January 15, 2010 at 2:45 am

    This is an interesting post. I’ve noticed the recent buzz and have been musing over these things myself lately. Not really sure where I stand, though. Either way, good thoughts. Thanks Mike.

  20. 22 brotherjohnny January 15, 2010 at 3:46 am

    All this crap talk has me working on a toilet metaphor in which baptism is represented as the flush, and the ‘old self’, is represented as the…well, I’ll stop using dirty words now, but…
    “dung” (let’s be biblical here!).

    Ahhh…, but seriously folks…

    Life *is* full of mess(es), but they can be found in any setting.
    I like the “organic gardening” metaphor and believe that it can (and should) be explored more deeply.

    Jesus had some pretty cool things to say about ground, seed, and and “fruit”….

  21. 23 Ted Seeber January 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I think what’s missing is age. ALL religious sects, in ALL religions (not just Christianity) go through these stages, usually measured in decades or centuries.

    Even Roman Catholicism was once an organic house church.

    What’s the difference? Dreams rather than accomplishment.

    As a church ages, it quite literally gets the house church kicked out by *repression from non-believing neighbors*. Sometimes that repression gets ugly, as can be seen if you read the Book of Revelations as history (and compare it to the real history of Nero’s repression of Christianity) rather than prophecy.

    Tradition is what keeps us safe. Tradition is the safety of building communities rather than tearing them down. ANY religious sect of significant age will discover community, and with community comes tradition and the next stage:

    Passing the faith on to a new generation. For this, you need *both* tradition and scripture- action and story telling. More importantly, you need the two to jive, to fit together. If you can’t make scripture and tradition fit together, in a way that is believable, or if worse yet the actions of your clergy (the one way I think the Reformation was justified) violate both tradition AND scripture, you’re going to cause a split.

    And in that split, a new sect is born. And that new sect, will have to start over at step one.

    After a few splits, your parent sect might actually realize it’s wrongdoing, and attempt to change (Christianity is in this stage right now, for the older 8 sects at least). But that change will be away from scandal- and into more comforting traditions.

    This story plays over and over. You could substitute Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, or just about any other human religion for Christianity anywhere in the above, and it would be just as descriptive.

  22. 24 Prophetic Ministry January 16, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Mike,
    Your article with the organic crap reference was no doubt “controversial” but that is all part of keeping it real.

    If you think about it, isn’t Home Church the next step after street ministry?

    After you meet someone on the street and you offer them a place to crash, and some food… churching them at your table is probably the best chance you will ever get to speak to them about Jesus.

    The language around that table had better be real. Or else you will lose trust quickly. Street slang and humor are part of the mix. If I sat at your table and mentioned that I have several businesses, you can call me an “entreManure”! I won’t get upset. And probably, no one else would either. We would all catch the play on words and have a little fun with it. Maybe expound upon it!

    I said all that to say this, “It is okay to be real. Those street people would never go into a formal church meeting with you. If you told them that they must watch every word, sit up properly in the pew, sing along with every hymnn, they would be gone in 60 seconds.”

    If the church gets bent out of shape over your “organic” humor…what will the church do when the Joel Chapter 2 army that has been prophesied, shows up with young radical Christians?
    Maybe they will argue about their style too?

    Keep on bloggin!,
    Kenneth McDonald

  23. 25 Ted Seeber January 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Kenneth- you wrote:

    “I said all that to say this, “It is okay to be real. Those street people would never go into a formal church meeting with you. If you told them that they must watch every word, sit up properly in the pew, sing along with every hymnn, they would be gone in 60 seconds.””

    So how do you explain the immense success of Catholic institutionalized street ministries? Ones that provide thousands of meals a week, beds for as many as we can afford, daily Mass to warm up in?

    I know of at least 4 parishes in the Portland, OR area that have strong street ministries- one so strong that it offends it’s WASP neighbors with the sheer numbers of homeless people that show up to the soup kitchen each day.

    Even my own parish- which offers no such amenities, something I’m trying to get to a point where we can change- has two or three homeless showing up for daily mass.

    • 26 Prophetic Ministry January 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      Ted…you wrote:

      I know of at least 4 parishes in the Portland, OR area that have strong street ministries- one so strong that it offends it’s WASP neighbors with the sheer numbers of homeless people that show up to the soup kitchen each day.

      Even my own parish- which offers no such amenities, something I’m trying to get to a point where we can change- has two or three homeless showing up daily.

      My Response….Ted, that is great news to hear about such a successful soup kitchen model. It warms my heart and makes me want to “High Five” somebody with a shout!

      It was my dream, one day to open a soup kitchen, where we could do prophetic ministry and inspire and comfort people in need. Maybe help get them back on their feet financially. I hoped we could prophesy encouragement to hurting men and women, and spark “hope” back into their fragile spirits.

      I must plead ignorance, about the successful Portland,Oregan Catholic street ministry. I am glad to learn about your ministry.

      But, I am familiar with the Portland downtown district. It reminds me of the Asheville,NC downtown where I have had a business storefront in times past.

      The WASP neighbors in that area were mainly merchants, or small businessmen. I am assuming that in Portland, there is mainly a large merchant and business storefront setting which is quite similar.

      I have personally witnessed a pattern that may explain the hostility of WASP businessmen.

      Those merchants and business people are usually compassionate to the street people when they first encounter them, upon opening their new business downtown.

      That quickly turns to FEAR of losing their business when suddenly they realize…those street people are never going away. They will scare my customers away! That is what they are thinking. And that is why those businesses come in and go out of business every year. Downtown Asheville retail storefronts looks like a game of “musical chairs.”

      Ted, that is a very real concern.

      That is a shame on the CITY for not investing in buildings and major resources, that would provide for your homeless ministries, AWAY from the merchant districts.

      That would solve both problems. Merchants could thrive again, rebuild downtown, and the street people could have a central place to go, without disturbing anyone, or suffering unnecessary rejection. You would have the funding to give good care.

      Afterall, you ministers are providing your own time and manpower unselfishly. That should save the City quite a bit of the budget,alone.

      Am I being idealistic? Yes. Could it work? Unquestionably.

      I believe it is the ONLY solution to solve the homeless problem, so they and merchants can peacefully coexist.

      WITH ONE EXCEPTION!…It would NOT involve the
      City Government, and it would take a movement of great
      Love and Compassion….

      WHAT IF? the families in the communities
      “Open their Homes and Adopt” ALL the street people?
      That would get them off the streets.

      And THAT would be the beginnings of true HOME CHURCH ministry.

      Thank you for your article.

      Blessings,
      Kenneth McDonald
      .

      • 27 Jill February 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

        I appreciate your sentiment regarding street ministries. Our experience, however, has allowed us to see ministries that have embraced the opportunity to minister to these significantly hurt individuals, and then push so far beyond the foundational ministry/church, that there is nobody left to take leadership positions than those who are: barely saved, barely emotionally healthy, biblically illiterate, undiscipled, immature, and with significant addictive behaviours and attitudes yet unaddressed.
        Christ discipled 12 men, living with them day in and day out, to help them prepare to lead the ministry and represent Him. When ministries catapult people to leadership positions too early, it destroys the people, destroys the ministry, and causes great confusion about the meaning of true relationship with God. Why must we always consider the “either/or” mentality? There are significant models of “both/an” throughout organized church.

      • 28 Ted Seeber October 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm

        Been far too long since I wrote this and I’m sorry for taking so long to respond.

        In the one case I am aware of the WASP neighbors complaining, the church itself is actually in a residential neighborhood! No businesses in the area to complain, it’s the actual neighbors living next to the Church who don’t understand why some dirty, smelly, homeless people are walking up “their” sidewalk are doing so.

        Since then, I’ve joined the Board of Directors of Our Peaceful Place. It was once a day shelter started by a Catholic Nun, a small storefront downtown. In 2005, Sr. Maria died in a car accident. Her board of directors nominated her best volunteer to become directoress, just as the landlord decided that without Sr. Maria, he didn’t want a day shelter in his building. So they lost the lease. Barb Lescher, our directoress didn’t want the effort to die- so she transformed it. Now, morning and night, she goes out with a backpack walking in downtown Portland- talks to the homeless, and directs them to where they can get services. Or just hands out a pair of socks. Portland is wet, and if you’re homeless, you never get to take your shoes off. Quite often she sends them to St Brother Andre parish, aka the Downtown Chapel, which the Archdiocese set up to serve that community specifically. An entire parish of, by, and for the homeless.

        I mention this, because I assume that some portion of your readers are indeed in the Portland area, and we are having our yearly benefit dinner for Our Peaceful Place. They can find out more about it at our facebook event http://www.facebook.com/OPP.PDX?sk=events if they wish.

        Now if I could only figure out how to let the parish council at St. Clare’s let the Knights of Columbus take over the upkeep, insurance, and property taxes of the currently empty rectory……

  24. 29 wanpelaman January 17, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Interesting article. If I could I would like to share something that is very personal to me. A few years ago I was contemplating the parable of the sower and there was a lot I could not understand outside of the traditional explanation that I never could swallow. As I was meditating I sense the Lord telling me that I was the ground and He was the gardener. I then asked him why some of the ground was hard, some of the ground yielded little and other parts yielded a lot. I sensed Him telling me that the hard ground was caused by my reaction/acceptance/rebelling/ to those He allowed to enter into my life. He told me that I allowed myself to become hard toward them instead of allowing Him, the gardener to keep me soft,loving and available.

    As to compost, I sensed the Lord telling me that he is the gardener and that he will fertilize and compost as needed and again it is my response to what he is doing that will determine if it will be sweet or smelly.

    Anyway, I think the longer we focus on trying to define the church and become dogmatic about it the further away from the truth we become. Its like a group of blind people examining different parts of an elephant and trying to describe the whole based on the part they are feeling.

    Resting in Him,
    Glenn

  25. 30 brotherjohnny January 17, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    BTW…
    I wrote an “open letter” to the O.C. a little over a year ago addressing some of the ‘poo’ that I was smelling back then.
    Check it out if you want:
    http://brotherjohnny.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/an-open-letter-to-the-organic-church/

  26. 31 zoecarnate January 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Here’s another good post rounding up some relevant discussion of this…

  27. 32 Chris January 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Mike, thanks for the link. I’ve just added your material to the growing list.

  28. 33 David Lim January 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Great dialogue here! Here’s one perspective: if the church is the PEOPLE of the Kingdom of God, could it be that Jesus’ call for us (people who follow Him as King Jesus) to go forth in pairs (two or three, Matt.18:19-20) to just enter/reside in any local community, social organization, business corporation or public institution, AND just be ORGANIC within it? Then the church will truly be IN the world, but NOT OF the world, sent as ambassadors of the Kingdom of light INTO the world (kingdom of darkness) to be God’s salt and light through our good works of love for His glory (Mt. 5:13-16)! This can be done without big shots, big buildings, big assemblies nor big bucks! The biggest challenge then for us is how to send these kind of faithful disciples to go among the dark corners not just of our cities (Acts 1:8’s Jerusalem), but also our compatriots (Judea), our enemy-neighbors (Samaria) and the ends of the earth (esp. the unreached peoples)! Guess using 20% of our personal resources to advance His kingdom on earth with this organic/simple church paradigm is the best way forward for God’s global harvest!

  29. 34 mukeyjoy February 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    My husband and I were members on the Ooze back in 2005. After working for a church for several years (non-denominational)he grew tired of the “business” format. He found the Ooze and dug deeply into the threads etc…. Now, 5 years later not only does he despise the church, he does not consider himself a Christian. Even contemplates the option of no God. I, after years of digging, have stood firm on Christ. (Not the religion. The man.)
    We have been married for 13 years and have 3 sons. All with bibical names thanks to my husband. This has been a hard walk and the possibility of him not coming back to Christ is like a death for me.
    Back when we were members he went by Kingsjoy on the Ooze

    • 35 Jill February 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Home churches….so we are considering the validity due to the ability to stand against modernism. If the church was wed to modernism, and now we develop a “more” authentic way of approaching God, and create different symbols for this relationship, which…of course…are based on postmodernity, then are we NOT doing the same thing, just attaching to new symbols? And house church is not a new, authentic way. It was used by first century Christians, and in numerous church planting environments all over the current world. Because it was/is more authentic representation of our search for God? No, because persecution/death demanded it. Having been involved in both, I would beg for consideration. Just because something is small and intimate, and different, does not make it any better. Change for the sake of change is not necessarily better. God gave us the concept of a body (see 1 Cor and 2 Cor) so why would we discard this for only a part of the whole?

  30. 36 Neil Cole May 27, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Hey great stuff bro. I think that we’re all a bit full of crap too (in a good way) and posted what I feel is the real dirt on organic church on my blog:

    http://bit.ly/dlJpZd

    Pressing on,

    Neil

  31. 37 oikoskrk October 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Great blog!
    I think you would enjoy mine too.
    Been housechurching and planting for 30 years now
    My blog is about Jesus, Church and life in general
    with a Star Trek theme.
    http://notesfromthebridge.wordpress.com

    Christopher “Captain” Kirk

  32. 38 Luxury home Minnesota September 18, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Why visitors still make use of to read news papers
    when in this technological world everything is accessible on web?

  33. 39 Solar power April 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Why aren’t we installing more solar power nationally, this
    is becoming the powr source for the future of our planet?

    The huge benefits of using solar hhas been proven continuously.

    The financial savings can be huge for business operations
    and the general public alike.

    Installing a solar system is good financial sense and also helps preserve this planet
    of ours for the future.

  34. 40 Installing a solar system April 26, 2014 at 5:22 am

    We can be installing more solar power globally, this has too bbe the power source for the future?

    The facts arre there in black and white for us all to see,
    green power just makes good sense.

    Adding solar panels caan cut your power bills, why
    continue to pay very costly poweer costs.

    It always amazes me how many members of the public stilll newed
    to bee persuqded of the financial benefiits that can be made by installing
    solar panels.

  35. 41 install commercial solar April 30, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Surely renewqable energy is what all countries around the world should be promoting?

    The vast benefits of installing soilar hhas been
    proven continuously.

    The money savings can be huge for commercial operations
    and the general public alike.

    Installing solar panels iss good financial sense
    and also helps keep this planet of ours for the future.

  36. 42 fxanimation.com August 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

    We got this specific set for my personal child
    , Two years ago, and it has held up slightly well.i’m also finding that my VERY VERY picky oldest son is really struggling something totally new to eat for the reason that he is
    really interested by the act of cooking.


  1. 1 On Scatology and Compost « zoecarnate Trackback on January 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm
  2. 2 zoecarnate · Is the Organic Church Movement Full of Crap? Trackback on January 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm
  3. 3 My thoughts on “organic church” « Called to Rebuild Trackback on January 22, 2010 at 7:26 am
  4. 4 abusive relationships abusive relationships signs abusive relationships stories abusive relationships quotes abusive relationships hotline abusive relationships quiz abusive relationships tumblr abusive relationships movies abusive relationships articles Trackback on August 30, 2013 at 3:34 am
  5. 5 Organic Churches – Messy or Magnificent? | Created To Fly Trackback on April 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Check Out This Free Book Club

Tweetlie-Dee

Abolish Slavery – Join the Movement Today!

  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
    God's Ultimate Passion: A Trinity of Frank Viola interview on Next Wave: Part I, Part II, Part III
    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
    Church Planting Chat from Next-Wave
    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave

    a


    %d bloggers like this: