Living Things Grow And Develop


Organism, to Organization, to Institution Series – Part 7

(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.)

Let’s look at the church through the eye’s of Katrina Scherbern’ view or Organism Organization where she defines seven characteristics. Let’s look at her third one:       

 3.     Living things grow and develop

Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

As a result, we are no longer to be children tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-4, 11-15)

The purpose of the five fold is for “growth and development” to “equip” the “saints” towards individual “maturity” “to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” and towards corporate “unity of the faith”.  If a cell, a local expression of the body of Christ, is to grow, it must embrace the five fold to give it life: birth, nurturing, caring, developing, spiritual insight, foundational through the Word, and networked together in unity.

Living things grow and develop. My children were destined to grow; they couldn’t help themselves. Developmentally, they passed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood eventually into becoming a mature adult. My “little girl” became a woman, who as a mother birthed another “little girl”, a grand daughter for me.  That is how living things work; they grow, mature, and multiply.

The hard thing to learn is that spiritually we can become stagnant, in active, passive, stale, and eventually die. The church is no different.  Spiritually, we do not develop and grow naturally as our human body does, but we can chose when and how we can grow and develop.  Paul acknowledged this dilemma in I Corinthians 3:2 when he wrote, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able.”

Spiritual life is determined upon how willing we are to grow and develop in Jesus! That is why the five fold is essential in supplementing a Christian’s spiritual diet through nurture, care, learning the Logos Word, and living it as a Rhema Word, and seeking revelatory truth through the Holy Spirit, the teacher and revealer of truth, and through apostolic teaching and guidance.

A Church that is alive as a living organism is one willing to grow and develop its members, its saints, by equipping them, then releasing them in the faith to bring multiplication. That is the blueprint for cell life.