We talk a lot about “Organic” church here in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador. It can be a loaded term, and is often held up as an alternative to “institutional” forms of church. “Institutional” can be a loaded term also, and is often negatively applied by those who choose not to gather in more traditional ways.
Recently, a bright young disciple said, “Can we stop using the term ‘organic’ when it comes to church?” “It’s confusing and means something a bit different to us.” I said, “Sure, what would you like to use in its place?” He said, “How about ‘Natural Church’?”
I then asked him what words he would use to describe churches that weren’t ‘natural?’ He replied, “Well, how about ‘artificial’ or ‘synthetic?’
A couple of questions:
1. In your view, what characteristics would a ‘natural’ local church have?
2. In your view, what characteristics would an ‘artificial’ or ‘synthetic’ local church have?