Organism, to Organization, to Institution Series – Part 1
(A single cell organism is a building block of life. When multiplying, how can you prevent it from becoming an institution where the organism can easily die or become lost in its structure? The following blogs in this series will examine the Church as an organized institution or an organism built on relationships.)
In Katrina Scherben’s video Organism Organization found on YouTube, Katrina explains how an organism becomes an organization. She defines an organism through seven characteristics:
- Living things are made of cells
- Living things obtain and use energy
- Living things grow and develop
- Living things reproduce
- Living things respond to their environment
- Living things adapt to their environment
- Living things have different levels of organization.
Scherben emphasizes that all 7 characteristics must be present for the organism to be living. Missing one can bring eventual death.
In Genesis, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likneness…..” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiple, fill the earth, and subdue it.
The Church was birthed to be a living organism, not a lifeless institution or a dead religion. “For where two or three have gathered together in my name I am there in their midst.”
Gathered believers find their energy, grow and develop, reproduce, respond and adapt to their environment through their cell, the local church. Gathering, growing, reproducing, and adapting come through built relationships among God’s people. The local church is to be active, not passive, a living organism who multiples through reproduction to grow, so all seven characteristics are needed to remain alive!
Instead of building buildings, cathedrals, and mega-churches and hierarchal structures with Senior Pastors, priests, bishops, cardinals and popes, God’s intention was to build a living body, a living organism composed of cells working together for the whole. Each cell may have a different function, appearance, and purpose, but is created to support the life of the whole body. Kidney failure can destroy a body. Digestive problems can cause great pain. Heart failure brings certain death. The shutting down of organs brings certain death.
Cell division is for the purpose of reproduction and growth. Uncontrollable cell division is called cancer, which also causes death. When there is cell division and reproduction, what should the church do? Should it organize, institutionalize, or develop a supportive life system?
We will look at these phenomena in upcoming blogs.