Organic Church definitions and abbreviations

OC, organic church

IC, institutional church

Organic Church, here are two:  1 Neil Cole’s definition: 

I have come to understand church as this: the presence of Jesus among His people called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission on this planet. 1.footnote

2Frank Viola’s definition:

By “organic church,” I mean a non-traditional church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grass roots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meetings (opposed to pastor-to-pew services), non-hierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering. 2. footnote

Institutional Church:  any church headed primarily by one man (it can be a woman), usually a pastor of the congregation and is considered as clergy,  and usually in total control (if not told what to do by a elder or deacon board).  Typically there are few others who participate in the meetings.  A worship leader is usually viewed as a second tier clergy.

Organic Scripture most often quoted:  1 Cor. 14:26  What shall we say brothers:  When you come together, EVERYONE (this means you and me) has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  ALL OF THESE must be done for the strengthening of the CHURCH (ekklesia).  CAPS and (paranthetical) emphasis mine, bd.

2nd Organic Scripture most often quoted:  1 Pet. 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that YOU MAY DECLARE the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  CAPS emphasis mine, bd.

T. Austin Sparks – Often quoted minister of the gospel who coined the phrase, “organic expression of the church”, hence organic church. 3. footnote





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