What is Organic Church?

February 3, 2014

Briefly defined, an organic church is a group of believers in Jesus Christ who are learning to live by the indwelling Lord together. They have left behind the man-made religious system normally referred to as Christianity, along with all of the “baggage” associated with that system. They have embraced Christ alone as their only Life, Center, and Head of the church. They are learning to function as the Body of Christ in order to express His fullness. And they are learning to live together as His house and His family in face-to-face community.

Welcome to OrganicChurch.org

This website is being created for the purpose of introducing and educating believers regarding the origins, planting, sustaining, and experience of the organic expression of the church. (The site is under construction so some of the links may not work yet.)

Root Before Fruit

In organic church, the fruit will reflect the quality of the internal life of the tree. But it takes time for the fruit to develop so that it is a true expression of the internal life of the tree. In other words, it takes a mature tree to develop fruit. This doesn’t happen overnight. However, if the tree is in the proper environment, and it is properly nourished and develops a strong root system, it will produce fruit much sooner.

In the coming days, we will be posting articles and audios on organic church life.

So read and listen to your heart’s content about: the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ, learning to live by His life, where our institutional church practices came from, the theology and practice of organic church, and much more.

Find an Organic Church

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Done With Church?

November 12, 2015

Millions of Christians today claim they are “done with church.”

But there are two such groups who make that claim.

One group is completely done with all forms of church.

Another group is done with the institutional form of church, but these people are either part of – or they are seeking – Christ-centered community. Which is what the word ekklesia (translated “church”) meant in the New Testament.

So they aren’t done with ekklesia, they are just done with the organized church.

Check out the new website – done with church – for more information.

New Resources

May 19, 2015

The Ultimate Issue Conference Message

New Discipleship Courses

New Blogs from Jon Zens

New Blogs from Milt Rodriguez

Pagan Christianity Website Updated

Reimagining Church Website Updated

Spiritual Memoir

October 18, 2014

Frank Viola, author, is working on a spiritual memoir that focuses on his experience in organic church. It is slated to release in January 2015. Here’s an excerpt:

“Being a student of church history, I have never personally met a true spiritual or theological trailblazer. Most of the people I know who are turning the sod on various aspects of the Christian faith are exploring pathways that have been populated by others in the past. None of it is brand new or completely original. As Dr. Laurence Peter once put it, “Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear, but forgetting where you heard it.” Anyone who doesn’t admit to that is bluffing.

Consequently, what you will read in this book has undoubtedly been said by someone else in some other place at some other time or in some other era. I have often made the following statement when invited to speak somewhere: “If you’re looking for new revelation, you’ve got the wrong guy.”

I have no new revelation. In fact, I have never met a person who had new revelation. Nor do I possess any “heavy revy” to dish out (that’s cute shorthand for “deep and heavy revelation from God.”)

I am a person who firmly believes what Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” In fact, all of what we have in the New Testament is found in the Old Testament—in types, images, allegories, and shadows. There is one exception, however. “The mystery” that Paul of Tarsus so passionately spoke about in his letters. That was a genuine case of “new revelation.” Unquestionably so.

To put a finer point on it, there’s only one revelation, and there’s only one Revelator. The revelation is Jesus Christ. The Revelator is the Holy Spirit. And we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It is only by God’s marvelous grace that we can (perhaps) see further than they did.

While I’m banging this particular drum, let me add that I don’t believe that there are any elite Christians. And I certainly don’t believe that there are any elite Christian workers or ministers. I believe that the simplest saint who has met the Lord Jesus Christ is as holy, as valued, and as cherished in the sight of God as Paul, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Watchman Nee, C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham or any other name that you wish to insert into that sentence.

King David is honored in Scripture as being “a man after God’s own heart” Acts 13:22. This has puzzled many Christians because David’s life was riddled with so many failures. I suspect the reason why the Holy Spirit regarded him to be a man after God’s own heart is because David caught a glimpse of the Lord’s ultimate purpose. And he was willing to pay any price to fulfill it. David was occupied with building a house for God (2 Samuel 7:2ff.; 1 Chronicles 29:3; Psalm 132:3-5).

As I look back on my Christian life since I was a teen, I’ve been on a quest to find the church after God’s own heart.

What exactly is a church after God’s own heart? Well, it’s certainly not a church that is void of failures and shortcomings. King David teaches us that lesson quite well. But he also teaches us that the church after God’s own heart that has caught a glimpse of the Lord’s ultimate purpose and is willing to pay any price to fulfill it.”

Get the full memoir here

God’s Quest for the New Man

August 16, 2014

You will see that this is very closely related to what the Lord is seeking to bring to us in these days. We are still speaking of it in very general terms, but the presentation of the Lord’s mind ought to be very clear to us. It is a man that God is after. That man is represented by His Son, and the Church is His expression as His Body. This new man is the universal manifestation of what Christ is – one Lord, one Life, one Love.

It is important, lest you should make a mistake in interpretation, to recognise that there is a difference between the word used in Ephesians and that in Colossians. In Ephesians we read of putting on the new man, in Colossians we read of having put on the new man. In Ephesians the word “kainos” means something that never was before, something altogether new.

This Church never was before; this corporate man according to Christ never existed before, it is something new. In Colossians another word is used which simply means “fresh”, not necessarily altogether new. You will see the significance of the different word if you look at the context. There, is a freshness of mind, a freshness of spirit that is to be a mark of those who are in Christ. But our word at this time has to do with the former word, which is “kainos”, the new man, the man that never was before. There is an old man who was before, and he has to go. Here is another man that never was before, and he has to be put on.

This new man is after God. That takes us back to our previous meditation, God thinking His thoughts, desiring His desires, and willing His wills, all of which express His own nature, and all of which are focussed upon a created being called “man”: “…which after God hath been created…” (Ephes. 4:24). That is a marvellous expression. You know how we speak of certain works of men, and use that word. We say, After Landseer! We mean that it is a reproduction of Landseer. Now here is a new man which after God is created in righteousness. The Lord teach us the meaning more clearly of so learning Christ.

by T. Austin-Sparks

Books by Milt Rodriguez

July 14, 2014

Check out the book catalog by Milt Rodriguez

Titles on organic church life and following Jesus.

Revising Our Expectations

July 11, 2014

The psalmist said that the Lord made known His ways to Moses but His acts to the children of Israel (Ps. 103:7). We have a God who doesn’t do anything arbitrarily. He’s quite deliberate in what He does, and He is very specific in dealing with His creation.

It takes a lifetime to understand the ways of God. But the more we understand them, the more we understand who He is. For His ways give us insight into His character.

Each Christian has an expectation of who God is and how He should act under certain circumstances. When the Lord doesn’t act according to our expectations, our faith gets tested. Some people are “offended” and fall away. Note the words of Jesus Himself about this.

Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me. (Luke 7:23)

Here’s the context behind those words. John the Baptist had just been put in a dark, cold prison. John’s prison experience caused him to doubt that his cousin was in fact the Messiah. So John sent emissaries to Jesus asking Him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Luke 7:19).

Jesus’ reply to John is straight from Isaiah 61: “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” But Jesus leaves out one very telling phrase, the one John would have expected: to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.

John never left the prison.

“Blessed are those who do not fall away from me, especially when I do not meet their expectations.”

Excerpted from Revise Us Again by Frank Viola Author

Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ

July 7, 2014

Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ is a wonderful course for those who are interested in organic church or those who are already gathering.

The sessions are recordings of live foundational talks to a new organic church plant.

A workbook is included as well as practical action plans.

The course is online and opens several times a year.

However, it’s also being prepared as a physical “home edition” course this summer.

Click here or the banner below for more information.

http://frankviola.info/HomeEdition.jpg

 

New Book for Organic Churches

May 18, 2014

Milt Rodriguez has many books on his site for organic churches.

Frank Viola author has released a new book called Jesus Now. This book is great for organic churches.

Each chapter reveals one of the 7 aspects of Christ’s present-day ministry.

The study guide is available for free for a limited time.

Click JesusNow.tv for samples and discounts

The Organic Anointing of the Church

April 17, 2014

by T. Austin-Sparks

The New Testament knows nothing of merely separate, individualistic anointings. We did not say individual anointings, we said individualistic anointings. Of course, the usage of words must be understood to appreciate that distinction. The anointing does come upon us individually as members.

We are not all one member, but many, and every member is anointed, but there is a difference between an individual anointing and an individualistic anointing. That which is individualistic would mean that that member is a separate thing, something apart, detached. That is what we mean by individualism, which is one of the ‘isms’ that is not recognized by the Lord.

That is, that which makes any man or woman something apart, a law unto himself or herself, a separate entity, doing their own work, thinking their own thoughts, even religiously and spiritually. There is no such thing in the view of the New Testament as individualistic anointing. Let me put that in another way. There are not so many anointings as there are individual members of the Body of Christ.

Stop Looking for an Organic Church!

April 17, 2014

by Frank Viola

Countless people who have read Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, and Finding Organic Church write to us and ask, “I live in [city], where can I find an organic church?”

My answer: Stop looking and asking, for heaven’s sake!

I’ve said it many times before, but in case you’re new to the blog or haven’t read my FAQ page yet, I’m going to repeat it.

Stop your quest for looking for a New Testament styled church (I abandoned the word “organic” awhile ago because it’s been hijacked and doesn’t mean anything specific anymore).

Why do I say to stop looking for an organic expression of the church? 3 reasons:

1. I hasten to point out that the chances of you finding an authentic, healthy organic expression of the church that’s centered Jesus Christ as Head and that has face-to-face community in your town is slim to none. And slim left town.

Yes, you’ll probably find dozens of “home” groups. But it’s rare to find a “house church” — even if it calls itself “organic” — that’s not a glorified Bible study or a “small-is-beautiful” version of an institutional church.

Organic expressions of the church like I’ve described in my books are rarer than hen’s teeth. Yes, they exist. I know about a dozen of them . . . real ones. But they are exotically rare, and they have always been rare throughout church history.

Read that sentence again

They’ve always been rare . . . even in the first-century. (Paul only planted about 14 in his life-time.)

Why are they so rare? Three reasons:

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