Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Organic And Inorganic

I have been thinking about the idea that church should be organic, rather than just being an organisation. Michael Frost (yes, him again!) once said that so much of what we do in church is 'inorganic'. It often feels like an artificial experience. Come to think of it, that's true to a certain extent. He suggested that the church should allow the rhythms and lifestyle patterns of the people we are trying to reach to determine the shape our communal life and worship meetings take.

I think all Christians should think like missionaries and spend more time listening to, eating with and playing with the subculture or neighbourhood we were trying to minister to. I have heard of a joke a non-Christian made in terms of them being addressed as 'un-churched' - "I'll make a deal with you. If you can first become un-churched, I'll become un-unchurched. Sound fair? The only reason I dare make a deal like that is because I know you can't do it."

According to Frost, the church should ensure that there is close, regular connection between the faith community and not-yet-Christians we are trying to reach. I agree with him, and I pray that in God's strength and grace we will be able to do that more often.


dorsey said...

This thought is spot-on. I'm trying (but still really don't know how) to achieve some sort of fellowship that isn't contrived around an organization. I'm not against organization, mind you, but it seems so much more natural to organize a group of people who have come together by virtue of commonality than to build an organization and wait for people to come to it (if that makes any sense).

The first day of the church, back in Acts 2, saw 3000 new members. It was the growth that necessitated structure. We build structures in order to achieve growth. It just seems a little backwards.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am not so sure.

Often movements that are very exclusive, separartist and sectarian are often far more succesful than more world-affirming religious groups.

I think a more separatist mentality reflects the unworldly, exclusive and heavenly heart of Christianity better than a 'go fishing with your neighbours' approach.

Every Blessing in Christ


Godwyn Lim said...

Hi Sister Kitty,

Thanks to the brothers & sisters prayers I am well enough to face my big piles of work! It's good catching up with you with MSN.

We will pray more than next time on MSN ya!

"And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, & He Healed them all." Luke 6:19

Anonymous said...

i agree with keeping a close connection with the non christians because we're trying to reach out for them. but there should be a balance because if not, we might be drawn to them (which is bad)instead of the other way around.

kitty, thanks for praying for me and jec. God bless. =)

forgiven said...

Hi Kitty
I miss you
Sorry I have been real busy

Jesus was always in a crowd of poeple ....Becuase thats where sinners are . We are to be the image of Christ , doing the same . If we are not ,then what good are we . We are the light , God calls us . To shine in the darkness .
Love you sis

audrey` said...

If we don't befriend and reach out to them, who will?
This is our mission :)
We need to shine for our Heavenly Father.

Wow! MSN with our brother Godwyn. Sounds very interesting =D

Kitty Cheng said...

Dorsey, I understand that achieving fellowship without contriving around an organization is not easy. I also am not against organization (I am working in two you know), but I agree totally with you that it's much more natural to be organic and intimate.

Kitty Cheng said...

Matthew, I am not sure that exclusive, separatist and sectarian are more successful than being organic (although I am not equating organic as world-affirming religious groups). But then again, how do you define 'success' is another matter.

I think 'go fishing with your neighbours' approach is Jesus' example. He went out to where people are (having dinners with sinners, going around the route to Samaria to meet the Samaritan woman and going to wedding party, preaching in the lake where people are rather than in the temple etc.). As followers of Jesus, we ought to do the same.

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Godwyn,

I'm go glad that you're well now. Yes it was great chatting with you on MSN. Sure would love to pray more with you next time dear.

Kitty Cheng said...

Pia, yes having that balance is extremely important. I think we should go out to where people are so we can befriend them but we do have to be careful and be counter-cultural, and not be influenced by our non Christian friends. We should be the salt and light.

Will continue to pray for you and Jec =)

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Brother Doug,
So good to 'see' you! Amen amen amen amen to what you said!!
Love you bro.

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey, surely our mission is to share the gospel and declare the Godly truth in the world.

Yes it's very enjoyable to chat with friends on MSN. Do you have it sis?

audrey` said...

I don't know how to chat on MSN.
I'm the greatest techie dinosaur =P