Organism, to Organization, to Institution Series – Part 4
(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 this series opening blogs we defined an organism, told how the cell is the central component to life, and how the levels or organs of life, working together, affect the organism as a whole.
Different components within the cell, the local church, bring life to it. Its diversity should be displayed through different passions (evangelist, shepherd, teacher, prophet, and apostle), who serve one another by laying down their lives for the brethren. A purpose for the cell is to “equip the saints for the works of service”. After new converts have grown and been nurtured toward maturity in Christ, cell division should occur where the talents of the saints are released for the purpose of producing two cells, two local churches, all under one banner, the Church. This is the new paradigm for church planting: cell division of an equal splitting apart for the purpose of growth and renewal.
Tissues, organs, and organ systems are similar in that their purpose is to work together to perform special activities in unity. Historically local churches have bonded over doctrine, forms of worship, church and leadership structure etc. and formed denominations or independent Christian sects. That is not why they were created. Although similar in structure and function, they must “work together” to get the desired results, not oppose one another.
We need Body parts that emphasize evangelism, who shepherd and build communities, who nurture care, and build up saints, who challenge the Logos written Word to be the Rhema living Word, and who network others in an unified effort. We need the five fold, led by the Holy Spirit to bring, maintain, and nurture spiritual life to the Body of Christ.
As molecules, organelles, and cells, we need each other to build the tissues, organs, and organ systems to make the Body effective, bringing it life, and continuing its growth. I believe this can be done through building relationships, not through hierarchal structures. The combination of molecules and organelles makes a cell. Cell combinations create tissues that develop organs and maintain life to birth, build, nurture, and mature the body. That is the structure of the Church.
Cancer is when cells go amok, rapidly dividing without a purpose, fighting to become independent of one another, not willing to bond or work together for the growth, livelihood, and nurturing of the body. Cancer, this uncontrollable dividing among cells, eventually shuts down organs and systems resulting in death.
We, as a Church, need a revival, a renewal, a new reformation to rejuvenate life back into the organism by working together by serving one another. Instead of fighting for our independence from one another, we need a bonding that only the Holy Spirit can do. We can only stop the cancer, not through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, but through embracing an attitude of laying down one’s life for their brethren in service for the purpose of building up one another and bringing unity and health to the entire Body of Christ, the Church.