Friday, December 24, 2010

Organic Church

Hello Everyone!

Imagine a church were every member was functioning, where the body was lead by Christ, where buildings and building campaigns were not on the agenda, and where all spiritual gifts were being used. That is Organic Church. Over the past few years we have been reading books by the author Frank Viola. He and his colleagues coined the term Organic Church to represent a form of church very different to the average church and even from the mainstream house church. Frank Viola and a few others travel around the country and plant these churches. We had the opportunity to visit one for 10 days in Gainesville, FL. We also took time to visit supporters and family. Most of the people in the church had moved to Gainesville just to be a part of it and thus they were serious about doing church this way and serious about Christ. We were overwhelmed with their hospitality as they invited us over for meals and alike. Having read Reimagining Church, we had an idea of what to expect in their coorporate meetings. They take the priesthood of all believers very literally and there is no functioning pastor or worship leader. Christ is the head. Worship is spontaneous and lead by the body and so is the teaching. We were very refreshed to be a part of something truly organic in nature and something that felt very much like what we imagine the New Testament church being. We are thankful we had the opporunity to visit not only the church, but also with Frank Viola. Our desire is to plant an Organic Church/New Monastic Community. While in the States we might even take more time in Gainesville because we were told we really didn't even begin to get a taste of what the church life is like. Plus, how are we going to plant something that we have never experienced? The thing that impacted us the most was the obvious sense of community among the people of the church. There are about 40 or so people and they love each other deeply. They fellowship during the week and seem to be very close. It is an attractive community because the members love one another and that love draws you in. Isn't that how church is supposed to be? Once you experience church like this you don't want to have it any other way.

Thanks for your prayers and support in the New Year!

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May Christ's birth be real to you today and always!

Feliz Navidad,
Josh and Jennifer

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