-Frank Viola, Finding Organic Church 2009 (pp 20 & 21)
As I have stated elsewhere, I’ve been using this term for over fifteen years now. Today it has become somewhat of a clay word, being molded and shaped to mean a variety of different things by a variety of different people.
By organic church, I mean a church that is born out of a spiritual life instead of being constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grassroots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meeting (as opposed to pastor-to pew services), nonhierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering.
By contrast, whenever we sin-scarred mortals try to create a church the same way we would start a business, we are defying the organic nature of church life. An organic church is one that is naturally produce when a group of people has encountered Jesus Christ in reality (external ecclesiastical props being unnecessary) and the DNA of the church is free to work without hindrance. It’s the difference between standing in front of a fan and standing outdoors on a windy day.
To summarize, an organic church is not a theater with a script. It’s a lifestyle – an authentic journey with the Lord Jesus and His disciples.
The difference between organic churches and nonorganic churches is the difference between General Motors and a vegetable garden. One is founded by humans, the other is birthed by God. One is artificial, the other is living.
For this reason, church planters are like farmers and midwives.