Searching for Organic Church
Whenever I talk to believers across the country I often hear a similar sentiment among those who want to be a part of an organic house church: “I’m looking for a house church, but I can’t find one in my area, so I’m just waiting to connect with one. I can’t handle church as it exists.”
I’m sympathetic towards people in this spot. I really am. But I’m also often worried about folks who say things like this because hidden within that statement are two harmful ideas.
The first is the idea that the perfect church is something that emerges that you don’t have to contribute anything to. In reality, true church is built on everyone participating and growing in Christ as they interact with each other. Waiting until organic church appears means you’ve been disengaged in building up the church. My experience is this disengagement carries over into organic church. The same internal mechanisms that caused you to wait for a house church to appear is the same mechanism that will cause you to sit back and watch others participate in the house church. This is a limited “win” at best.
The other idea built into this comment is that is harmful is the idea that the church is a meeting or gathering. It’s not. The church is redeemed people who follow Christ, regardless of what form we meet in. So, you can’t find a group of believers meeting in a home, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t gather with other believers, encourage each other to follow Jesus more faithfully, and even share your faith. If you’re doing this, you are actually already part of a church! These Christians may be a part of other congregations. That’s okay! Jesus loves when Christians act as one church, not as many segregated ones.
So don’t wait! Meet with other believers, whether they are part of an organic house church or not. No, the believers you meet to get together with won’t be perfect. They probably won’t understand you perfectly. But God calls us to care for the church, even when they aren’t perfectly like us. We’re to strengthen the weak, rejoice with the strong, and weep with those who mourn. It won’t be perfect but you will be contributing to others and they will be encouraging you. Or, as the writer of Hebrews says,
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.