I’ve found that when people hear about a church that gathers without a designated leader to present a prepared sermon or teaching, it is difficult for them to imagine how else the church would gather. The pastor-pew format is so ingrained in today’s church culture, it is hard to picture anything else. But there are, in fact, “organic churches” who meet together with no human person designated as her leader, where all of the saints gather together and share the riches of her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to be the head of the church meeting.
Frank Viola has described organic church as this:
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…
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I like the analogy that’s made in this piece. Please consider the impact and richness of fellowship if we all abandoned man centered traditional church in favor of Christ centered gathering.
That’s quite the little nugget you found there brother! An excellent illustration of the reality of our need to share Christ and how other saints’ perspectives clarify and enrich this. I couldn’t agree more.
I’m grateful a few of us are walking along those lines and allowing that to become more of a reality among us. I value much the contributions each of you share- or those that others share as in this example.
Hey God Bless Michael, I’m glad to see that others are writing and thinking about similar things. I’m grateful, but most importantly encouraged by the fellowship that is springing up. The Lord’s mighty hand is surely directing us!
Reading this … and the comments that followed the article … I couldn’t help but think that the only thing really difficult to learn is how to undo all the wrong beliefs fostered by men being in charge of men [traditional assemblies]. Really, only God can do that. As far as authentic, biblical assembly life goes, I think that is something God equips us to do. [Yes, we learn as we go.] Perhaps, the most damaging effect of the traditional churches is that they teach us to act analytically [intellectually], as opposed to spiritually. It’s not that our intellect is not involved, obviously: but rather, that our spirit is supposed to inform our intellect [our minds conform to the word of God–“for these things are foolishness to the natural man and must be spiritually discerned,” (1 Corinthians 2:14)]. Contrast this to the words of Jesus: “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matthew 6:27). The only thought I have is “what is God inspiring me to do?” Doing things in our strength and will is particularly wearisome and vain, which explains why the traditional church experience is one hand, a gauntlet, and on the other hand, a self-affirming and self-rewarding discipline.
“I couldn’t help but think that the only thing really difficult to learn is how to undo all the wrong beliefs fostered by men being in charge of men [traditional assemblies]. ”
All it takes is a willing vessel doesn’t it. If we choose not to bow the knee now, then how will it be on that great Day.