Q & A #2 // Organic Church Life

Last week, I responded to the question, “How would you define the organic church that you’re a part of? This week…

Q: What are the goals, purposes, strengths, and weaknesses of organic church life/Body Life? {I’ll use those terms interchangeably.}

A: My initial response to this question is a very short and simple answer.

The goal is Christ.
The purpose is Christ.
The strength is Christ.
The weaknesses are our flesh.

That is the most honest answer I can come up with, and yet I know it’s too simple to be any sort of explanation, so I’ll try to expound on a few areas where I see this played out.

1. Christ is the head of the body, the church. I’m not sure when I learned that truth, but it’s certainly one I’ve been familiar with for a long time. I think we (believers) all would be quick to affirm it. It certainly is clear in Scripture:

“And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” – Ephesians 1:22-23

Christ is the authority and the source. He is over all things. He fills all in all. We, the church, are His fullness expressed on the earth today.

I guess that in the past this has been something I clung to as a theological truth, and now, much more than ever before, it’s an experiential reality.  He moves us. He directs us. He connects us. He unites us.

That’s one of the things I view as a strength (and purpose and goal).

I’d love to somehow put this experience on the page for you to absorb, but my writing skills don’t go that far. As I said in my last post, you really have to experience it to know it. I’m not saying that you’ve not experienced it. I really don’t know. I’m just sure that in my church experience, Christ as head has never been this real and tangible to me. And I have to tell you, it’s breathtaking.

2. We, brothers and sisters in Christ, are new creations. The old you and I have passed away, and the new (Christ in us) has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). Again, I’ve known and experienced this in my life but the experience of this reality has exponentially increased within Body Life.

We are dead in our trespasses and sins. Dead! We have all been made alive in Christ, raised up in Christ, seated in heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:1-13). This is a spiritual reality. Who we are in the spirit IS who we are.

We lose our own life, to gain His. Being intimately joined with brothers and sisters in community life, you absolutely MUST continually lose your own life. It doesn’t work when we hold on to our individual selves. We are One.

I’ve never seen that play out more beautifully than I have in organic church life. My brothers and sisters in this body continually affirm and call out each other’s identity in Christ, our new creations. Thus, when someone has forgotten who they are, when one or some of us are clinging to some parts of our individual lives, our true life in Christ is revealed to us through the Body. I treasure that immensely and desire it for all my brothers and sisters, near and far.

3. Along those lines is where weakness comes in. We all still have flesh and our flesh is not at all pretty. Living intimately in community, joined together in Christ, we get to see each other’s flesh rearing its ugly head – up close and personal.

We’re a diverse group of people with a variety of backgrounds. When it comes to things other than Christ, we have very different outlooks. And yet, we’ve chosen to walk together through all the thick and thin of life.

Sometimes flesh offends flesh.

We have to get over that.

It is not always fun and sometimes it’s downright painful.

There have been and will be seasons in which we do that well. There have been and will be seasons that we do that poorly.

But I believe this is a primary example of our weakness being His strength. We must depend on Him. We must bring our selves and our agendas to the cross.

4. In organic church life, every member functions. This is a beautiful reality that I’d also consider a significant strength. I’m going to leave it to discuss more extensively in answering the next question: “How does leadership work?” {I’ll likely end up doing multiple posts on that.} Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. How would you describe your own churches goals, purposes, strengths, and weaknesses?  

4 thoughts on “Q & A #2 // Organic Church Life

  1. Shanda, I am really enjoying this series! The weakness: our flesh. YEP! But praise The Lord, He is our strength!

    Thank you for your boldness and bravery to pursue this series.

    The Lord delights in you. He is being expressed through you beautifully to those who seek Him. Thank you for your voice!

  2. Pingback: Q & A #3a // Organic Church Life | ... this grace in which we stand ...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s