In our old way of doing church life, there were some markers, structure, and programs that gave definition to our life as Believers. We could at least check off the following areas and know that we were ‘on the right track:’
- Go to church on Sundays. Check.
- Read the Bible and pray daily. Check.
- Attend a small group or Bible study. Check.
- Serve in the church somewhere. Check.
- Give a tithe. Check.
But what about this living, organic church? How do I know if I am moving in the right direction? Sometimes we revert to an old way of thinking:
- Meet with a house church. Check.
- Meet with a smaller discipleship group. Check.
- Pray and reach out to others. Check.
- Read the Bible and pray daily…
But maybe we are still missing the true nature of being organically connected to Jesus.
I do believe that we can see markers in living organically, but they are more like dance steps rather than program to-do lists. They are more about lifestyle that integrates with all of life rather than simply a list of sacred activities divorced from the rest of life. They happen internally which are then reflected externally rather than the other way around.
I have often used the diagram below to describe the organic lifestyle, but it’s easy to try to turn these (or any other organic methods) into program again so let’s be clear. This is a lifestyle that begins and rests fully on a listening relationship with Jesus. Only He can lead us in the life of spiritual power that we are meant to live in. Further, each part of this process is not a step but a lifestyle that grows out of that intimacy with Him and which deepens as our life with Him deepens. We reach out to others, with our own abilities and gifts, as He leads, inspires, guides, and empowers. We ‘make disciples’ by assisting others to have a similar, personal walk with Jesus. We gather in ways that come naturally out of the other steps (we don’t gather and then try to make the rest happen). And we facilitate others to do the same because we want them to experience His full and fruitful life.
For the sake of providing some guidance on the organic lifestyle, I sometimes use a series of questions. They are designed to encourage us to listen to Jesus and, as we move deeper into Him, walk with Him naturally into the Kingdom, organic lifestyle that He draws us into:
- How is He calling me to root myself more deeply in His love? (This is the core question for all of the rest so that our life and motivations are all about loving God and then others, not some dutiful, religious activity).
- What field(s) has He assigned me to sow in right now? How?
- Who am I called to personally disciple right now? How?
- Who is already around me, that I am discipling or being discipled/encouraged by, that I am called to build one-another community? How?
- How am I empowering my disciples & community to do the same (#1-#4)?
What does ‘Living Organically’ mean to you?
Categories for this post include house church, simple church, organic church