I responded to a blog by Alan Knox, please read these articles to gain more insight into organic church life!
“Hi all, Im from down under! (Australia) I have read most of Franks books on organic church life. I havent been attending an institutional church (came from both baptist and pentecostal circles) for over 3 years now. We are striving toward gathering like the following;
“The Organic Church. This is a living, vibrant face to face community that has no other pursuit but Jesus Christ Himself. Members are being “built together” into Christ the Head, they are experiencing the cross of Jesus, they are discovering how to live by His indwelling life, and they are fleshing out the biblical vision that the church is the family of God. Such churches are a testimony to the world, to one another, and to the principalities and powers that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed alive – alive enough to be Head over His own church. Christ is the church’s centrality. He is her passion. He is, as it were, her obsession. Members specialize in nothing – except Christ. Their goal is to make Him visible in their community. Their Hallmark is their growing desire is their growing knowledge of the Lord. Their testimony is their openness to all of God’s people, their humility, and their unmistakable love for one another.” – paraphrased summary from Frank Viola’s books
It hasnt happened yet for us as Frank depicts but I know it will. I know of many ‘christ-centred’ families and followers that no longer attend church for a whole pile of reasons. Primarily because the church they attend, seems to have lost sight of Jesus and being built up together as the body of Christ. They are turning more into’inward looking’ sects and have lost their kingdom view (Im generalising but have experienced this in the few churches I have been attending over the last 15 years)
Its early days yet, but we are seeing crowds of christians here in Australia move away from traditional ‘pulpit-pew’ churches and are attempting to gather in simple-church style gatherings. The picture Viola creates is very unique and it does speak of a functional new testament church that is vibrant and living in Christ.
The biggest hinderance to people gathering as the ‘organic expression of the body of christ’ is the instutional mindset they have spent most of their life being taught to function like and within. My understanding is that people need to go through a ‘wilderness’ type experience to de-institutionalise themselves from traditional church thinking and practices. It hard to refocus on new testament expression of church when we have grown up in our times and its embedded within our thinking, we tend to ‘default’ to that thinking.
I am already seeing the fruits of the spirit in several groups we are attending, they are refocusing their lives on Christ and re-learning to encourage and love-another. Finally we are starting to see the gifts of the spirit being used how 1 Corinthians intended, founded on love and unity in Christ Jesus. I am praying we will soon have multiple gatherings that will be equipped to function like Viola’s books. Hopefully the landscape of the way we do ‘church’ will change forever!
Note. In no way do I mean to be-little or attack institutional church goers, I believe God works in and through all believers who are committed to Christ… I am only speaking of the ‘ekklesia’ above.
God Bless. Daniel”