Is the organic church biblical? What is organic church?
Organic, or simple, church aims to pare Christian fellowship down to the most basic or natural activities in response to some modern church models that institute a wide variety of programs, build extensive buildings, hire professional staff, and work on a business-like model dependent on large budgets.
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Christians who endeavor organic church base their philosophy on Acts 2 with individuals or families in small groups helping each other with spiritual growth, Bible study, ministry work, and comfort. Some, such as those described at organicchurch.org, say they want to avoid man-made religious systems along with the "baggage" that comes with current Christian church models.
Be mindful when investigating a church describing itself as organic as that word is used to describe valid fellowships, but also cults and other fringe groups. Look closely at any Christian group or church you want to join to see if they teach the Scriptures, hold to orthodox Christianity, and follow the Jesus of the New Testament.
Many, disillusioned with large, organized churches, are attracted to small, organic church examples. However, some say such simple church models stymie growth and eliminate evangelistic efforts. That criticism does not seem to be supported by history, which shows that churches forced underground and to very basic Christian activities due to persecution, grow. The more the enemy of the Church attacks, the more the Church grows. Jesus said, "… I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).
Most organic-type churches hold Ephesians 4:11–13 as one cornerstone of their model. It reads, "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
The organic church truly sees itself as a church defined by the people involved and the gifts bestowed on them by God, rather than a building or group of buildings where people meet. The organic church doesn't rely on seminaries, traditions, ecclesiastical documents, church creeds, hymn books, or worship bands. Each organic church member contributes through teaching, shepherding, evangelizing, and other roles and gifts to grow the maturity and members of the church.
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