Alan Knox (http://www.alanknox.net/2012/01/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-find-organic-church-life/) has been exploring this question. And I love the answer one of the commenters left: (There were many great comments on this post)
Jeanne P says:
Yes. I think you have nailed it.
Here is a copy of my post from this morning at Cerulean Sanctum:
May I suggest that going about “finding” a church like this is the wrong approach?
If God has planted a seed of desire in your heart for this community fellowship, then start sharing it with other Believers that you already know and love–people you have real relationships with. When you discover that someone is likeminded, then invite that person to dinner–break bread with him–and then talk some more. Start exploring what the Bible says about New Testament gatherings…basically you are doing a Bible Study but you are doing it together as you seek to learn what God has designed specifically for the two of you so it’s incredibly relevant to your lives as you figure out what to do next. Wait a minute…in sharing what the two of you are doing suddenly a third person who longs for the same thing becomes a part of the conversation, and your little Organic Church grows a tiny bit.
(What I will call for the sake of this discussion) “My Organic Church” grew just like this–organically. People who love Jesus, love each other and are longing for a different way to worship, fellowship, and grow. So we came together and just “do it.” We don’t advertise, we don’t invite anyone to come, it’s just people who love Jesus and love each other trying to be “iron sharpening iron” and live out our walks together. We are deeply involved in each other’s lives in what I would call a New Testament fashion.
It may surprise you to know that we all still attend “church” on Sundays and not even the same one, necessarily. But to me, “church” is really what this little group of Believers do together during the week in our own homes and what we do on Sunday mornings is more like Paul speaking at the Temple. It is a place to share Jesus with some Believers and some Un-Believers, to encourage the greater Body of Christ, etc. But “church” is what happens in our own homes as we break bread together in this tiny fellowship.
You don’t “find” a church like this and start attending. You let the Holy Spirit lead you to others who are searching for the same thing and then you let HIM grow it into a unique little gathering. Each little organic church will be different, led by HIM to be what it is meant to be to those Believers who join together to participate.
I think key to this is that you look amidst the relationships you already have. The people God has already drawn into your life for just such a purpose.
Just my 2 cents…
Wayne and Brad at “The God Journey” had a great podcast this week about “Seeing people as People” that I think kind fits in with this discussion as well.
Seeing People as People
Brad’s been listen to the relationships versus religion raps on YouTube and Wayne’s been reading Tattoos of the Heart and the two converge in a lively discussion about how we view people. Do we treat others as individuals and love as people even if broken or lost, or do we see them through the grid of us versus them relationships that makes us more prone to poke them in the eye with our own need for self-validation. As long as we need people to fill up something in us, we use them even if we don’t mean to. By finding our acceptance and worth in him, we will not view people based on our needs, but rather engage them as loved children of a gracious Father, whether they know it yet or not. That invites us into the space Jesus enjoyed, the freedom to love people for who they were, not how they would fit into his plans.