My wife is very health conscious and buys groceries at places that sell organic food. I found out quickly that organic groceries go bad more quickly than those that contain artificial preservatives. Is that true for all things organic, even churches? Will our movement eventually die? Is there an expiration date for organic church?
Christianity Today's Mark Galli wrote an article in his online SoulWork column last week titled "Long Live Organic Church!" In it he expresses some admiration but also concern for the wellbeing of some of the thought leaders of the organic church movement. And he worries that the bitter disappointment of seeing the inevitable failure of our movement may cause us to become bitter and fall out of service.
The concerns he expresses are not just valid; they are haunting realizations I have lived with for over a decade. Sustainability, longevity, and the threat of institutionalization are all subjects I have thought about considerably. On the other hand, holding unreal expectations and the disillusionment that can result has not ever been a concern of mine.
What is success?
I do not live for success but to follow Christ every day. If, when my life ends, I have only a handful of followers of Jesus that can carry on his work, I will not be ashamed to meet my Lord. Reading 2 Timothy 4, Paul was in much the same place, but he said he finished the course and kept the faith. He also transformed the world! He planted seeds that bore fruit for generations to come. There were some things put in place that would bring lasting change throughout the centuries. There were other things that lasted only a generation or two. I think that is the way of true awakenings. Some new ideas stick forever, others only for a time. ...1