As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve been using the term “organic church” since 1993. In my book Reimagining Church, I point out that T. Austin-Sparks is the man who deserves credit for coining this term. Austin-Sparks ministered in the 1920s until his passing in 1971.
When I began using the term “organic church” some 16 years ago, very few people were using it. (The exception would be those who were familiar with the work of T. Austin-Sparks.)
Today, the phrase has become a fad. It’s become a clay word, molded and shaped to mean very different things by many different people.
Consequently, one must now define what they mean by “organic church” when they use the term.
I’ve often said that an organic expression of the church is one in which the members are learning to live by Divine LIFE together. They are learning how to live by the indwelling Christ. And out of that living emerges a particular expression. That expression, because it’s derived from LIFE, is “organic.” When the church is living true to herself . . . as a spiritual organism . . . her expression is organic.
This past Tuesday, I finished another book for my “ReChurch” series. There are presently 5 books in the series:
1. The Untold Story of the New Testament Church - this is a narrative ecclessiology that traces the story of the early church from Pentecost to Patmos, showing how she (the church) was born, grew, encountered problems, dealt with those problems, developed and spread.
2. Pagan Christianity – this is a deconstructive historical work that shows how the modern traditional institutional church conflicts with the organic expression of the church that we find in the New Testament.
3. Reimagining Church – this is the constructive piece that presents a theology of the church as spiritual organism (organic) rather than the church as human institution.
4. From Eternity to Here - this book unfolds the grand mission of God, which is the vision that all authentic organic churches stand for.
5. Finding Organic Church - just released this Tuesday (9/1), this is the practical follow-up to all the above works. It discusses how organic churches are planted, how they are nurtured, how they are sustained, the common problems that they face, the seasons they pass through, how they multiply, and much more. The book also discusses at length the apostolic work, church planting strategies, and mission — all derived from the timeless principles of the New Testament instead of from the business models of secular culture.
All 5 books present a comprehensive picture of radical church restoration that seeks to bring the organic expression of the church back into view in both vision and practice.
For details, see The ReChurch Library.
My hope is that God will use this series to shift the paradigm, so that His glorious Son would find His rightful place in HIS body again.