Organism or Organization?
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
I Corinthians 12:27
Does it matter? Oh, yes! Is your physical body different from a row of dominoes? The difference is astounding. Dominoes merely fall over. Your body can pole vault.
Take two legs, two arms, a torso, and a head and put them in a table. Organize them any way you wish. Put them in any order or combination. That is an organization.
Now connect the two legs and arms to the torso and put a head on it … and put a human spirit in it to animate, coordinate, and direct the parts. This is an organism. It is a living, powerful thing that can be an Olympic athlete with incredible potential.
Is your church an organization or an organism? Does it have lots of parts, but they are not really connected in any meaningful, coordinated, affectionate way of unity and purpose? Do they gather together weekly and sit in pews like dominoes?
A true church is body parts and joints chosen by God, united together by His Spirit, with Jesus Christ as the Head. They love each other and help each by Spirit direction and power to grow up to the full stature of Jesus (Eph 4:13-16; I Cor 12:12-27).
When they gather for services, they know it is not just to hear a preacher, but also to consider one another for increasing love and good works (Heb 10:23-25; 3:12-13). They are touched by good and bad events affecting the parts (Rom 12:15; Heb 13:3).
The human body can be trained to accomplish great things. A man or woman sets a goal, and their spirit energizes and moves their bodily parts in very coordinated training to get better and better until he or she achieves the goal. This is a fit body.
Churches should do the same thing before and after services, in services, and during the week between services. An athlete does not quit being a body for four years between Olympics, and a church body is still a functioning body between Sundays.
Jesus said to look for churches and disciples that love each other (John 13:34-35), where you can see body dynamics at work – great affection, help of all kinds, perfect unity, enthusiasm, kind comfort, and cheerleading. This is a true apostolic church.
It only takes one or two services to sense the bond, unity, and power of such a church.