The Church – Organic or Organizational – Part Two

Looking at the organic nature of the Church can be fascinating as well as life changing.

All life forms have a DNA – a genetic code. DNA gives each life form a specific expression. For example, the instructions to build your physical body are encoded in your DNA. Your DNA largely determines your physical and psychological traits.

Since the true Church is organic, it too has a DNA – a spiritual DNA. Where do we discover the DNA of the Church? I suspect that we will find a great deal of it by looking at God Himself. 

We Christians uniquely proclaim a triune God. In the words of one of three major creeds in the Christian faith – the Creed of St. Athanasia, “The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, yet there are not three gods, but one God.”

The Godhead is a Community of three, or a “Trinity.”

The Scriptures portray the multifaceted relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit in the richest and deepest language imaginable. With the triune God we discover authentic community – an eternal, complementary, and reciprocal interchange of divine life, divine love, and divine fellowship.

Amazingly, this same relations has been transposed from the divine DNA into the human DNA. It has moved from the eternal God in the heavenliness to the Church on earth, the Body of Christ.

A common question is, “Sure, the Church is organic, but it must have organization, right?” And, the answer is yes! Organization and structure is good and needed as long as it is encouraging the continued growth and expansion of God’s divine “life” as we saw yesterday. 

Because the Church is organic, it has a natural expression. Just like the physical body does. Accordingly, when a group of Christians follow their spiritual DNA, they will gather in a way that matches the DNA of the triune God – for they posses the same life that God Himself possesses.

Consequently, the DNA of the true Church is marked by the very traits that we find in the triune God – mutual love, mutual fellowship, mutual dependence, mutual submission, mutual ministry and face-to-face community.

While the seeds of the Gospel will naturally produce these particular features, how they are expressed locally may look slightly different from place to place, culture to culture. However, the same basic features that reside in the DNA of the Church will be present regardless of the physical or cultural location. Never, if a church is following the biblical pattern and expressing the God-given DNA within its members – never will any of these churches produce a clergy system, a solo pastor, a hierarchical leadership structure, or an order of worship that renders the majority passive.

The Church of Jesus Christ – when planted properly and left on its own, without human control and institutional interference – will produce certain features by virtue of its DNA. The Church will look different from culture to culture, but it will have the same basic expression wherever it is allowed to flourish.