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Mattie
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Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


 "Organic" Church Movement

Over the last few years there has been a growing increase of brothers and sisters gathering together in homes. Back in 2006-2007 it was estimated that between 1 and 4 million believers were leaving the "institutional" church setting to gather in a less organized, traditional church setting. Some have called this movement, not just a 'house church' movement, but the 'organic' church movement. The word organic is not to be mistaken for 'organic' food, but something that is born and sustained by life rather than organization.

Author and church planter Frank Viola gives this definition to what many are calling 'organic' church...

"By "organic church," I mean a non-traditional church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grass roots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meetings (opposed to pastor-to-pew services), non-hierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering."

What are your thoughts of the work that is taking place?

Have you heard of it?

If so, what positive/negative reactions do you have towards it?

Does it matter if we choose to meet in a more 'organized' setting or an 'organic' setting? Is our church model really that important?

Your thoughts...

 2009/5/25 23:22Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: "Organic" Church Movement

I personally think, generally speaking, that the "organic" house-church movement is a mighty move of God in these last days. While I personally distance myself from the likes of Frank Viola, who I think represents the worst of the house church stream, I believe God is ultimately returning the church to much simpler and apostolic times, as such is the only means by which we will reach the fullness of the stature of Christ. Denominations and large dead institutions are on their way out the door. While used by God, they have never been of God. At best they have been an Ishmael. But as we know, Ishmael and the bond woman have to be put out, as God has only one child of promise, that which is born of His Spirit.

The greatest examples (though not without it's problems) of an "organic" church are not to be found in America, but in China. Indeed, the church in China is almost nothing but an organic thing. God wants to bring the church to maturity and the fullness of the stature of Christ. Traditional, even evangelical churches, must ultimately be transformed and pruned.


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Jimmy H

 2009/5/26 6:43Profile
reformer
Member



Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764


 Re: "Organic" Church Movement

Its just a fancy name for house church. it seems that house churches are increasing at a high rate due to the church system we have today. people are wanting more of Christ, true fellowship and are not getting it in "church" on Sundays.

I am currently reading Pagan Christianity by Viola and Barna. It is probably one of the best books that I have read in a while. As far as church history...how it started. Why we have what we have today. It like reading two books in one. The notes that are supplied to check the sources and just story itself.

I think Frank is more of an emergent Christian. He is a bit more liberal in his view, but nonetheless a believer and follower of Christ.

I don't think it is negative to have the organic church, I am not quite convinced yet if his way is the best. reading some examples of his gatherings have me a little uncomfortable; meaning the style; it seems like a free for all. But I am sure it is because I don't completely understand the involvement in a house church, because my mind is corrupted by the institutional church.

Personally I don't think it matters how we fellowship together, in a traditional service or house church. you have to go where the Lord is leading you to go. The house church is lines of more biblical than what we have today.

We left the institutional church about 6 months ago. I struggled with so many questions about year before I left. Why do we have this in church? Why do we sing, pass the plate around, shake hands, sing some more, preach a watered down message, then leave? Why do we tithe? are we just paying for the building and salary for the pastor? Why another building campaign? I could go on, but that is another thread. The point is God is to be worshiped in truth and spirit, and that doesn't mean that only takes place on Sunday morning for an hour and half. We can have fellowship at home with our family and if the Lord leads us to house or friends that is fellowship?

a good sermon on fellowship by Paul Washer:[url=http://media.sermonindex.net/18/SID18532.mp3]http://media.sermonindex.net/18/SID18532.mp3[/url]

I would recommend that you might consider reading Pagan Christianity. It is an eye opening book and challenging.

blessings
reformer

 2009/5/26 6:53Profile









 Re:

I think the house church movement is great so long as the house church is organized along biblical lines. Scripture gives us clear guidelines concerning church governing. I know of some house churches that are not, and they are wrong.

Our experience in house church has been a good one, but not without it's problems.

There is absolutely no way one can make any blanket statements about house churching since it is done in so many different ways by so many different people. But again, it does have to be done scripturally.

Krispy

PS: often on this forum I have promoted Viola's book Pagan Christianity. I think it is one of the best books, period. I've read it 6 times. He does not strike me as being "emergent" at all, at least not how I view the term "emergent" with all of it's false doctrines, etc. Thats not Frank Viola.

 2009/5/26 8:15
reformer
Member



Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764


 Re:

Quote:
PS: often on this forum I have promoted Viola's book Pagan Christianity. I think it is one of the best books, period. I've read it 6 times. He does not strike me as being "emergent" at all, at least not how I view the term "emergent" with all of it's false doctrines, etc. Thats not Frank Viola.



Let me clarify...I say he is emergent in his style of fellowshiping. I don't know about his theology, as far as doctrinal statement...grace, hell, salvation and so on. he doesn't explore his theological views in the book or on his website. Some of his description of the organic church reminds me of Doug Pagitt's style of church.

 2009/5/26 11:59Profile
Know-Him
Member



Joined: 2009/1/7
Posts: 76


 Re:

Neil Cole's book - Organic Church - Growing faith where life happens; makes some very good points with regard to the Organic church.
I like the expression 'Simple Church.'
I believe that we have taken something that Jesus meant to be simple and natural and made it complicated and difficult. The church ought to be alive, growing and spreading.
It is good to look at all our practices and ask the question, "Do we do this out of biblical command or because of our cultural tradition?"

 2009/5/28 11:47Profile
Aussiedler
Member



Joined: 2005/2/14
Posts: 109
GERMANY

 Re:

I think all that matters is our heart and not organisation. I dont't think, that the organized form is so important.

 2009/6/8 14:53Profile
wayneman
Member



Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 454
Michigan

 Re:

I recently tried to contact several house churches in my area that were listed on [url=housechurch.org]housechurch.org[/url] and another website. Every one of them is now defunct. I've been involved in efforts to plant three house churches. All three fizzled out. The organic church model is superior in many ways to that of the professional clergy, but some of its exponents seem to think that it is the answer to everything. It's not.

In the old days, the Plymouth Brethren decided that the professional clergy with professional interests to protect were the cause of divisions in the Body and most other problems. So they organized autonomous local bodies with no salaried pastors and a church life run strictly along New Testament lines. A lot of good has come out of the Brethren movement, but it didn't take long for division to arise between the Open Brethren, who would fellowship with any and all Bible-believing Christians, and the Exclusive Brethren who would not break bread with anyone outside their own sect. By the 20th Century, the Exclusive Brethren had schismed into no less than 48 different sects. One of them, known as the River Brethren, made foot-washing rituals an integral part of every gathering, and disfellowshipped everyone who didn't. Then a controversy arose among the River Brethren: Should one brother wash feet and another dry, or should both functions be performed by the same brother? And they schismed over that!

So much for the professional clergy being responsible for all the divisions in the church! What went wrong with the Exclusive Brethren? Maybe the problem was that they put their faith in a formula.

I'm all for the house church movement, as long as we don't proceed on the assumption that the windows of heaven will automatically open upon anyone who holds church in a house.


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Wayne Kraus

 2009/6/8 20:49Profile
reformer
Member



Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764


 Re:

Quote:
I recently tried to contact several house churches in my area that were listed on housechurch.org and another website. Every one of them is now defunct.



I have had that problem too. Its hard to find other believers who desire the same. But I trust that the Lord will lead me though.

Try this website...it is really good for those who desire true fellowship but can't seem to find it. There is a article called No Fellowship, No Problem..was very helpful during times without regular fellowship.

[url=http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/]School of Christ[/url]

your Brother
reformer(Mike)

 2009/6/8 21:17Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

The early church met publicly and from house to house. I don't think this is an "either-or" issue, rather, a "both-and." We do need both platforms. The larger platform especially for those who are older and more seasoned in the Lord to address a local congregation in one grand swoop. Watchman Nee called such "apostolic meetings." Our unity should be found in Christ, not what type of building we meet or do not meet in.


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Jimmy H

 2009/6/8 22:31Profile





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