Church..Is It Missional, Emerging, Organic, Seeker, or Fundamental?

What Is Growing?

What is the church today? What is our purpose?  What are we supposed to be doing?  How are we doing what it is we are supposed to be doing provided we are doing what we are supposed to?  Confused? I am of late.

Let me backtrack a bit.  I’ve been reading some books on “Organic” church.  I might add I’m enjoying them a lot but wondered if I hadn’t been organic all along?  Was I fundamental too?  Could I be a fundamental Christian while being organic too?  All of my adult life, I’ve been told I’m a fundamental protestant.  I’m told this is because I believe the bible is the Word of God.  I believe it to be true and I hold it in highest regard as God’s rule of faith and practice in the life of a believer.  I’m a teetotaler so that really makes me fundy so I’m told.  I don’t drink alcohol and haven’t since my 20’s.  I don’t see a need to overpay for it with everything else that’s available to drink.  I don’t want to ruin my witness to my friends and neighbors and want to be controlled by the spirit, NOT the spirits! (Props to Greg Laurie for that word picture!).

I see a need for the church to get back to the true worship of God.  Serving Him while serving others.  Growing in my faith by deepening my knowledge of His Word.  Making the Word a priority for my church families to learn and apply to their own lives.  I stress growth in the spiritual disciplines.  I want our church to be a praying church, a church that meditates on His word (Joshua 1:8), and a church that seeks to fulfill the great commission of Jesus.  So what am I?

How do you define the new verbiage of faith?  20 years ago we were either Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, or Four Square.  Today, the denominational lingo has left us and we are either Emerging, Missional, Fundamental, Organic, or Seeker Sensitive.  I love being a part of my denomination, the Free Will Baptists.  I think it’s important that my church identify with a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in establishing God honoring churches.  I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from.  So what does that make me?  Is my church pigeon holed because of it?  Or..Can we build something different that honors God, our tradition, and is still very “organic” to those we serve?

Perhaps a blog series will develop from this.  My point is, if you read the blogosphere for long, you will see the various camps slinging word grenades at one another.  I must shake my head in wonder and ask myself how this honors God and how it builds His kingdom?  How will this war of words win one soul to Jesus?  At 42, am I too old for this?  I don’t think so.  I just feel like I have one foot in the past (and a glorious one it has been), and one foot in the present (what great opportunities await!).  Can I have the best of both and be unique?  Do I have to label it?  Do you?

Your thoughts are welcome and encouraged.  Please add to the discussion…

Church..Is It Missional, Emerging, Organic, Seeker, or Fundamental?

4 thoughts on “Church..Is It Missional, Emerging, Organic, Seeker, or Fundamental?

  1. Cody Alley says:


    You are right about all this titles churches are taking on. Most of them seem to be non-denom churches who cotinue to want to distance themselves from “organized” church. Why they seem so persistent on wanting to do that is beyond me; I can only assume that they believe that there is to many negative connations with a name “Southern Baptist” “Methodist” “Free Will Baptist” and etc. To many sterotypes that they just do everything possible to distance themselves from this.

    Thus the need for fancy titles to make it seem as if they are more spiritual than the denom. churches and that they are the only ones doing things right and denom. churches are just to stuck in the past, blah, blah, blah. These non-denom churches may not be doing wrong as in sinful but I wonder if the Apostle Paul would ever be caught bashing other evangelical churches simply because he did not like their method of reaching lost people.

    All this name calling has done has caused the church to have to face another battle; each other. The fight against Satan and his demons is not the only thing churches are fighting anymore.

  2. Is it really so strange or new? Many churches call themselves “Calvinist” even thought there’s not a denomination call “Calvinist”. Same thing.

  3. martyschmidt says:

    Least favorite question, “What kind of church are you?” Lately my answer has been the kind that follows Jesus as best we can. Another usual question is what denomination are you? We are sort of hybrid – I grew up Lutheran and went to a Lutheran Bible College, was trained in the Reformed Church of America and worked in a Reformed church for 7 years, am influenced by some Baptists, and believe the Holy Spirit is alive and kickin. Umm – I guess we are just weird.

  4. I vaguely recall R. C. Sproul saying something about our government goes the way society goes, so if we really want to see the culture change, we had better get back to reaching souls for Christ one person at a time. I only heard that snatch of the program last week or maybe the week before, but what he said resonated with me.

    I had a local pastor once who told me, “Jerry, you talk too much about the Lord and too much about the Bible.”

    Later, when that pastor and church board rejected my membership application, the pastor suggested, “Jerry, I suggest you find a church that believes like you do.”

    I tried attending a “Bible Church” in a nearby town, but it wasn’t long before the pastor requested I give up teaching the adult Sunday school class he had invited me to teach. I won’t go into details, but my family decided to follow his suggestion, and cease attending his church. The people from HIS Sunday school class were extremely upset at what the pastor had done, and left the church too, and closed the church, so far as I know.

    I went just one time to another church in the same little town, but was accosted by over-zealous individuals prying into where I had recently been attending church, and attacked with repeated references to my failure to obey Hebrews 10:25 for not having been in church anywhere the past two Sundays. I politely called attention to the fact that in Hebrews 10:25 speaks of “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves TOGETHER.” I added that if your idea of Christian fellowship is sitting in stationary church pews nailed to the floor seeing only the back of the heads of those who are seated in front of you, and the face of only the pastor, your notion of genuine Christian fellowship is shortsighted indeed. I never returned there!

    Why is it that almost no one has any interest in genuine fellowship, where all of us have a chance to hear from each other in some available venue within the church, not just the pastor? This is NOT the pattern of the church taught in the New Testament. And if you think it is, maybe you should start reading your Bible independently for a change.

    Why is it that almost no one is involved in soul winning, in reaching the lost for Christ? However this process may take place in your Christian fellowship, it ought to be happening.

    If you want some good ideas to spur this kind of commitment to getting the gospel out, try studying the material provided in The Evidence Bible by Ray Comfort. I just purchased a copy last month and find it to be very good.

    I have no interest at all in so-called “purpose driven,” “emerging,” or “seeker” churches. None. I don’t know for sure what might be meant by “organic” churches, so for the moment at least, I look askance at anything with that name too.

    What we need are Bible-driven churches!

    We need all of our people to be engaged in regular, personal, INDEPENDENT, study of the Bible for themselves. Just reading the Bible through in a year is not enough, and considering all the truth glossed over in such hurried reading, may well be pointless.

    Jesus did not employ a single method of reaching souls. He tailored His approach to the needs and individual circumstances of each person, addressing each of them as unique individuals. Jesus did not read to each of the people he wished to reach “The Four Spiritual Laws.”

    I believe our basic business in the Church is to grow disciples, to “make disciples,” as Jesus said, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

    Before we can teach people, we are going to have to find effective ways to make contact with people, and win them to a saving knowledge of Christ.

    By the looks of our contemporary culture, we have not been doing very well the task our Lord Jesus Christ assigned us.

    I’m glad Jesus promised, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). There are three of us here: my wife, her mother, and myself. My wife says repeatedly, “Why bother any more looking for a church? We are the Church!” Based on the promise of Christ, we certainly experience His presence here, and enjoy many hours of fellowship around His Word in the Bible. My wife plays the grand piano in the living room, so I get to hear the familiar hymns. We have a collection of hymn books that is surely much greater than found in any church. That way, I even get to hear some unfamiliar hymns!

    Since there are no churches that I know of local to me that want me, I think I will just stay home and avoid the conflict and enjoy the presence of Christ right here where I am.

    Too bad Pastor Cheatham lives so far away. If he were close by, I’d check him out, and see if he would respond to me in a different manner than the pastors I quoted above treated me. From what I read here, I’m sure he would.

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