Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Organic Evangelism

Continual Reproduction Starts Early

"the role of an organic evangelist isn’t to do all the evangelism, it is to train the new believers how to share their faith effectively, early and often"
ross rhode
Organic is a big word today.  It has been since I was much younger.  That is not designed to take away from the green movement.  What does a green church look like?  I'd love to answer that., but that's not for today.

BUT -- what does an organic church look like?

More and more we see terms like organic applied to the church. Organic is a big word today.  It has been since I was much younger.  What does an organic church look like? I don't mean to take away for the green movement.  And - what does a green church look like?  I'd love to answer that, but not today.  
BUT --what does an organic church look like?
In our quote from Ross Rhode today, he speaks of "organic evangelists."  He ties "organic" to words like reproduction. 
Words that touch on organic as a metaphor.
"God takes continual reproduction, generation after generation seriously"
ross rhode
But what does organic mean.  Flash words quickly get cut off from their roots.  Flash words quickly take on a meaning of their own.  I believe, in the process, flash words become meaningless. Useless. So what does "organic" mean?
1. Of, relating to, or derived from living matter: "organic soils".
2. Of, relating to, or denoting compounds containing carbon (other than simple binary compounds and salts) and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin.
or·gan·ic  (ôr-gnk)
1. Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms.
2. Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ.
3. a. Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin.
   b. Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals.
   c. Serving organic food.
   d. Simple, healthful, and close to nature.
4. a. Having properties associated with living organisms.
    b. Resembling a living organism in organization or development; interconnected.
5. Constituting an integral part of a whole; fundamental.
6. Law Denoting or relating to the fundamental or constitutional laws and precepts of a government or an organization.
7. Chemistry Of or designating carbon compounds.
1. A substance, especially a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal or vegetable origin.
2. Chemistry An organic compound.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
So, an organic church serves organic food:  organic physical food or organic spiritual food?  I'm confused.  Well, not me but I can see how people could be.
Seriously, an organic evangelist means an evangelist consisting as an integral part of a whole.  Now that makes good since.  That sounds exactly like what Eph. 4:11 and the other "gifts" passages speak about.
If the church is growing (see organic metaphor), it sustains an organic cycle, a reproductive cycle.  I like the metaphor of a pregnant church.  The Church, at least until Christ returns, cycles again and again through its life cycle.  It's built into the organism.  It's life!  Church alive.
  • Do the metaphors of growth, reproduction, and other organic figures make sense to you? 
  • What is keeping us from having a movement of Vibrant Life? Could it be that Christendom has emphasized certain of these gifts, nearly ignored others, and doesn’t allow them to work together under the coordination of the Master Organic Farmer? 
  • What would the Western Church look like if it took these gifts as seriously as we see the Early Church taking them? 
  • Is your evangelist a birthing coach?

Ephesians 4:11 (New Living Translation):

 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

Though I have not yet read them, there are at least two books on organic church. Have any of you read them?


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