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In-Home "Organic" Churches

Updated on April 11, 2011

Save the Christians

Over 1 million Christians leave the institution of church each year, reaching a staggering 112 million reported Christians that do not attend church. An even higher number do not attend church regularly. These numbers speak volumes about a growing trend in leaving the church and not because a lack of faith or spirituality, but the church itself.

Many of these wandering Christians may find what they are looking for within an Organic church, or in-home churches. Organic churches are a more personal, community driven church that enables everyone to be an active, functional, and participating member. There is no pastor and no pews. Jesus Christ is the leader and spirituality is the format. There are no scripts, no agendas, and no chain-of-command.

Going Organic

The term Organic church was coined from the perception of current churches being ran as an organizational business, man-made in other words. Founders of Organic churches are beginning from the roots up. Actually, they view it as planting a seed and growing a tree from that seed, the fruits being the people, which is a completely organic process.

You can also view it this way: Institutional churches run the church similar to a company- they need to make money, they are driven by hierarchy, set guidelines, rigid routines, and a few individuals decide for the majority. This does not resemble the experience Jesus had meeting with others. Whereas Organic churches are close-knit and enjoy a community life that many institutional churches are lacking presently. In the distant past, the only churches around were Organic, so this is not a new idea in general, just new to the 21st century.

Typical church setting
Typical church setting

God in church?

People are getting lost in big churches, even small churches as well, where both seem to have a hierarchy and robotic, sterile feeling. Joy, community, and spirit have left the building and the Christians are flowing out the doors too.

Instead of condemning, ignoring, or passing judgment to those who leave, churches and their leaders should be investigating the commonalities in what makes them leave. There are very fixable approaches and solutions. For example, I wrote a hub (link to the right) about reasons why people leave the church (some are funny, others serious). This hub garnered a lot of comments. Many were from people who could relate and others who warned me I'd be going to hell in a hand-basket, I was superficial, or not strong enough in my faith to look past toxic people and situations in the church. Only one comment was from a pastor who said 'thanks for putting this info out there, it's a good resource for churches to realize where they are going wrong'. I would just like to point out that statistic above again- over 1 million people leave the church each year. So maybe, it's not just me.

In-home church setting
In-home church setting

Christians versus Christians

With over 11 million people involved with some form of an Organic or in-home church, there are still Christians (from institutional churches) who doubt it's survival and fear people ultimately losing their faith altogether. Perhaps they are valid in thinking people who have given up on the typical church and seek an in-home church may also become disappointed in that and give up on God.

It's sad to believe that people would drop their belief in God simply because they don't have a church to attend. Is church that crucial? The Christians that fear other Christians will lose their faith ultimately, after the Organic church movement bursts, are underestimating the power of God and instead they are placing the power in man, or the church. There are people who do not need church to believe in or worship God. There is life (and God) after church.

Christians were once simply Christians, people who attended the typical church. Then, many started leaving the church, but still believing in God, which was questionable in some Christian's eyes. Now with many Christians starting and finding in-home or Organic churches, there becomes and even greater divide within the Christian community.

Come together over God

There is no best way to worship God. Just as there are differences in how people learn or various environments they flourish in, there are bound to be differences in how people worship God. Some people want the community feeling, which is void in most typical churches. Some people want to feel joy and worship, which is not present in all churches either. When I was a kid I thought church was nap time because that's what I did when I went. I know adults who take a nap in church too. As an adult, I want more from church than to just say I went and met my quota. It all boils down to what you want (maybe you need the nap), but we should not forget, God should still be the center of it all.


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    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks lab143. I think people reach people, not the church. However, some churches are a better fit for some, but not others. I like to worship at home with my family.

    • lab143 profile image


      8 years ago

      This is very interesting! I agree we can get caught up in the business side of running a church and begin focusing less on reaching the people that are there. I love that these in-home churches have seemed to simplify the process. I am thankful to be at a creative, worship-filled church that makes it clear everyone is welcome! Thanks for these informative hubs!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks for the comment Shelley- I've been away from hubapges- out having a baby, but I am back and I want to thank you for reading this hub and be willing to check into other "types" of churches to get the most out of your experience with God.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for this hub. I left my church because I was feeling very alienated. I felt that my churches perspective had change from teaching the word of Christ to becoming a "mega" church. Adding services and constantly, practically begging us to bring a friend. When they added the 3rd Sunday morning service, and cut down the teaching time to less than 20 min. 10 min for introduction to services and other info,i.e. what was happening in the church, activities (most needed money to attend) watching an occasional video, and child dedication and so forth, 15-20 minute of great contemporary christian music and that left 20 - 30 min of true Bible teaching( since they cut services to an hour from an hour and half to accommodate the third service). It was the end gate for me. I loved the church prior, and was baptized there in 2005. But something changed within the church structure. I feel they lost their perspective ( only my opinion, others have certainly stayed and felt no different with the change). The Church as it grew in it's new location became very "commercialized" for lack of a better term. Adding the third service and cutting the time for an entire service to an hour was to much for me to accept. People seeking,( not Christ seekers) as my daughter put it, meaning in her mind "money seeking". As my alienation grew, I ultimately left my church and my church family of friends. With whom I still have some contact. I have continued to keep my faith strong through reading and doing Bible studies online, and most importantly prayer and my personal relationship wuth Christ.Continuing to spread the WORD, and work for God through social media sites. To be honest I have never heard the term "organic church" before reading your hub. But I am willing to do some more research on the subject. As for myself I enjoy interacting with other Christians and fellowship in online, non-structured format. The term " organic church" to me - in some way suggest some type of foundation, or group, which to me usually means seeking money. Not seeking God. But, I'm willing to certainly investigate.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Planksandnails~ the organic or in-home church automatically elimintaes some of the issues in a typical church, such as a need to pay bills and for the building and "staff", one person being in charge- hierarchy, and large crowds.

      There are different people out there, even among the Christian community, and the differences need to be acknowledged. Organic church provides a place for those who seek a mor personal worshipping. I think those people recognize the "us" and "them" actions that led them to leave a typical church so they would likely steer clear of that in an in-home church. They are aware of what hurts and is harmful- taking away those key components can alleviate some of what chased them away.

      The typical church is not able to alleviate those things- it is centered around paying for a bulding, a pastor, and a select few people's agenda, etc. That type of structure sends the focus on many different areas and this has been what chased people away for years. Wouldn't it be nice for those people to have another option without eventually losing touch with their faith?

      I don't view the organic church being a reaction to the wrongs, just an option instead of the typical church.Not a correction or a solution, just an OPTION. Those numbers I put in the hub are very telling- over 1 million leave the church each year, and being part of that statistic, I can tell you it feels awful to feel like I had no other choice out there. I had tried so many churches. probably the reason I abandoned my faith for so long.

      You say "The goal of a follower of Jesus Christ should be to worship Him, spread the Good News, and grow in spirit and truth." Not everyone who tries out church or is new in their faith is strong in thier faith enough to withstand the harms of an institutional church nor are they strong enough in their new faith to keep it once they decide to leave the church. That's where I had fit in long time ago.You are thinking in the way that everyone is a long-time Christian, but not everyone is strong in their faith as you.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image


      10 years ago from Eastern Shore

      One last comment...I think one of the main problems with the organized church is that the church now puts everything else before the Bible and the honest and true interpretation of His Word. It is as if the congregation is there for all other reasons rather than hearing the Word, absorbing the Word and then putting the Word into action. For myself, the best way I found out who I am as a child of God, was to take the time to sit down, read the Bible on my own, cover to cover, absorb the passages, and try to apply Jesus' message to my life. It wasn't really about "religion" for me because I attended church everytime the doors were open for 38 years of my father took us to visit every kind of church (with his own slant on why we only attended Baptist Church). I wanted to find out on my own what the Bible said rather than piecemeal passages from pastors and Sunday School teachers. The Bible is the living Word of God...I wanted to "hear" it on my own...understand it as a whole - the history, the wisdom, the prophecy, the life of Christ, Christ's gospel and guidelines for His "church". It was the best choice I ever made and now I love my Bible, not as a religious book, but as a book of my history and faith, I found answers to every question in those pages and I know that when I falter, or stumble, it is because I have lost focus and not been in the Word like I should. I am not going to condemn any organized or organic church...I am just sad what "religion" has come to and I pray that anyone that feels disassociated with the "church" will once again come to the understanding that anyone who loves Jesus and believes he is God's son, can have a relationship with Him and will have eternal life. Fortunately for us, God has made it very simple...accept the gift or deny it...the choice is ours to make.

    • PlanksandNails profile image


      10 years ago

      The sense that I am getting with the "organic" church movement is that it expresses a reaction against the "institutional" church because of all their errors, mistakes, and sins of the people in it.

      I can agree with this in one sense, but my concern is that the "organic" church is somehow a correction to all their mistakes without acknowledging their own.

      Am I left to assume that most in the "organic" church movement are hurt, disgruntled, and disappointed church goers who left the "institutionalized" system for a better, more Biblical way? Even the early church had its many issues to deal with too.

      The problem that I see in the "organic" church is that hurts from the "others" become the flag that is raised higher than the purpose of a follower of Jesus Christ, and is replaced with a victim mentality. Since we are all dealing with people, fallibilities will always be present no matter where we go.

      A lot of people associate a certain pain with the people within the "four walls" when it may be just with a singular individual who is associated to the "four walls". The hurt is directed towards the "institution" rather the individual.

      I believe the "organic" church is just one of the solutions to Christian community, but it is not, the be all end all. I see it as more of an outreach to the disgruntled, disappointed, and disconnected.

      Instead of the "organic" church movement being a REACTION to the wrongs of the "institution" and the people that failed them, why not let it be an EXPRESSION of love instead to the disappointed, disgruntled, and disconnected.

      Instead of being a CORRECTION, how about a SOLUTION?

      The goal of a follower of Jesus Christ should be to worship Him, spread the Good News, and grow in spirit and truth. This should not be out of a reaction of bitterness and disappointment, but an expression of His love and grace for everyone including the "institutionalized" and the "collateral damage" from that system.

      The context or perspective in the church body can be one of reaction or expression, but it is important to have a balance, or the extremes of each end of the spectrum can, and often lead to, an us vs. them mentality.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      christiansister~ I definitely agree with your example of Jonah and your position on hierarchies. Great comment. and thanks for the wondeful compliment on the hub.

      lobonorth~ I agree and whatever they want to call themselves: in-home churches or organic churches, it is simply a gathering of folks with various experiences, but seeking the same thing without the institutionalized feeling.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      sallieannluvslife~ thanks for the wonderful comment. I couldn't agree with you more. Keep it simple and most of all keep it for its intended purposes.

      PlanksandNails~ I agree with you to some point. I believe we've lost those principles and personal feelings in the current churches. Organic churches are a wonderful way for those that do want a feeling of community in their worshipping, but also a bit of freedom. As long as organic churches do not follow the current trends in churches then they will be different than the traditional church.

      What you say to sallieann is interesting. We all may wear labels and see ourselves a certain way, but one difference is why various people go to church. The traditional church is full of people who go for reasons other than Jesus (gossip, fill a weekly quota, look good)while those in an organic church are going solely for him. The point of an organic church is to have a choice when the typical church is harmful. There is nothing worong with finding a community of people who are sick of the harm typical churches inflict. There is enough detestable things in the world, why involve it in religion? Organic churches are keeping it simple- without hierarchy there is less social turbulence.Wouldn't you rather those who are staggering an uncertain in their faith to have another place to go to when the typical church has hurt them. I had many miserable experiences in church and I was new to Christianity. I gave up on God for years because I thought that was representative of God and his people. It took me so long on my own to figure out otherwise, but had I had something available like organic churches it might have enabled me to keep my faith for those years I left. You add an interesting perspective. THanks for the comment.

      Angelicwarriors~ I think the point of an organic church is probably one that will attract the people who are less judgmental and have tough life situations that chased them out of the typical church where they were all but condemned. A tough question can be answered in a small group setting and without judgment, more likely. It's a practical life approach, not a hierarchy of who has the best answer.

    • lobonorth profile image


      10 years ago

      Very interesting hub and it does make sense that so many are gravitating away from hieararchial and institutionalized churches and forms or worship - before there were churches and all the trappings of institutions there were people who gathered together in homes or outside spaces to worship and give comfort to one another.

      Good work!

    • christiansister profile image


      10 years ago

      izettl this is an excellent hub!!!

      And for angelicwarriors Matthew 19:10-13 explains it is not a sin to be single. A single person is in the blessed and unique situation to serve the Father with an undivided heart and should be accepted if you can handle the life.

    • christiansister profile image


      10 years ago

      To use Jonah as an example of eventual obedience is not quite correct.

      Jonah never found it in his heart to have compassion on the Ninevites. God showed him that he had no other choice but to do what God said.

      He was also very angry that God did not destroy them. He did not want to preach repentance to them because he did not feel that they were worthy. (Not his call to make.)

      He was much like the leaders of the Churches of today. He had a defined rule for himself about who was worthy for salvation and who was not. Is that not what we hear in churches today? And after they did repent Jonah was more angry than before. He did not feel that the people of Nineveh were good enough to be considered equal to the Israelites, and his arrogance tormented him further when the city did turn and repent and worship the Father.

      Jonah's heart was hard and proud. Even after being in the belly of the fish for three days, He still had a major chip on his shoulders that God felt compassion to deal with.

      And for

      And the hierarchy of the early church was not set up to make decisions about worship or how the sermons would go. They were set up to make sure that all the widows and orphans and other disadvantaged members were not overlooked. And that someone was making sure that their physical needs were met. I do not see this in the "Churches" of today.

      Their hierarchies are mainly traditional positions of power and self-importance. I am not saying that this is always true, but more often than not it is. And where is all the money going? Is it going to the body and the lost or is it doing something else?

    • angelicwarriors profile image

      John Chartier 

      10 years ago from EHT New Jersey

      I attend a mega church... been going there off and on for 34 years, now I miss very few sundays.

      I lost my dad 4 weeks ago... I got a form letter from the pastoral staff (I believe there is 6 pastors on the payroll) saying they were sorry for my lose..

      My mother works in the office of the same church...

      I love the draw of a small fellowship, an Organic church as you are calling them... The problem comes into when you have a deep question for example should single people leave home or is this against Gods word...

      When I first asked this question I said was it a sin for single people to live alone... Which really ruffled feathers... BUT if it is against Gods word isnt it a sin??? The Bible says we leave our mother and fathers to CLING to our spouses period...

      This sole question could really divide a small organic church... what happens when two people have a similiar question...

      I am not saying mega churches are the answer... I dont know if a small church is either... BUT the idea of a community or Organic church is a great idea but without structure or leadership how do you keep it going in some direction...

      Just my two cents worth... I may have to write a hub about my thoughts...

      Thansk for making me stop and think about my worship to God... and in the end isnt that what church is all about coming together to give God the glory only he deserves...

    • PlanksandNails profile image


      10 years ago

      My family and I left a church because of its syncretism. It can be hard and painful, but necessary for the spiritual protection of your family.

      My only issue is the labels we put on ourselves (eg "organic") that implies an idealogical mold.

      We can be in one accord as followers of Jesus Christ, but not when we categorize ourselves to a label.

      It seems that the "corporate church" in the last days will be the ones to persecute the real followers of Jesus Christ as they take a stand for the genuine truth.

      I agree, the in home church seems to have a lot of good qualities to it. Sorry if I seem critical, I am just "kicking the tires" so to speak.

      Thanks for responding and your thoughts too.

      God Bless!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image


      10 years ago from Eastern Shore

      I do not "hate" anyone...I merely do not wish to fellowship with hypocrites and my silence was "turning the other cheek", not provoking others to anger, especially when it comes to church preference...Obviously the "popularity of the masses" hopped onto the new age church movement and it was not infallible. Christians are frustrated with the secular choices being made by the church as a whole and are searching for the church as it was in its origination. I agree with you re: "our relationship and obedience to Him" being most important because, after all is said and done, in the end we will each stand in judgement alone and are accountable for only our individual actions and behaviors.

    • PlanksandNails profile image


      10 years ago

      Everyone proudly has their own religious label on; pinned on by the pinner's of their own religion.

      Jesus calls people to many undesirable locations, but He does it to expand His kingdom.

      ("The "organic" church sounds more to me like how churches were started after Christ's ascension...with people who love Jesus and his message and focus more on that than the church building or church and town gossip.")

      There is truth to what you are saying here, but is it to appease your distaste for the "corporate one's?". They are just as sincere as you are in their devotion to their label. Both can be idolatrous as the be all end all.

      Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh because he detested the Assyrians and the harm they had done to Israel, but he eventually was obedient to God to call Nineveh to repentance.

      Do we hate the "corporate one's" because of the harm they may have inflicted on yourself and many others?

      Could it be our silence that so hinders the cry of God's ways vs. man's ways?

      Yes, God has called me to detestable situations because of His own will and purpose, not my own.

      The truth is that "Christians" have a problem labeling one another and each other according to their our own relative identifications.

      If Jesus has called someone to an "organic,""corporate," or "apostate" church etc..., then they are being obedient. If they are there because of their detest for the "others", then I would question their motives over His.

      It is easy to be with and feel comfortable with the like-minded and inclusive kind, but God doesn't promise "white picket fences" to those who are willing to count the cost.

      "Organic" will not save the "Christians" nor an ideology of a "community". The idolatry in peoples hearts are fed by man made definitions to give them their source of purpose and identity.

      Unity is not a inter-faith compromise, but it is in one accord with Jesus Christ. the true followers of Jesus Christ are in oneness with His Spirit, not the double-mindedness spirit of "us" and "them", but singular in obedience to Him and His direction in their lives.

      What I'm trying to say is that we may be promoting something that will be the source of ridicule once the popularity of the masses hop on to something else.

      History has proven the fallibilities of religion through the lens of our carnal nature and man made doctrines. The Bible has already spoke of the "church" falling away, what is most important is our relationship and obedience to Him in these end times; otherwise, we may be substituting for a counterfeit.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image


      10 years ago from Eastern Shore

      PlanksandNails, would you say Jesus would want you to attend a church where they are begging for money every Sunday so that they could pay off a debt because they built a church "bigger and better" than all the other churches in town, where the main Deacon in the church when he first meets you as a new attendee, calls you Gramma because you wear glasses and have some gray hair and then proceeds to tell you "there are things you can do about that", and the same Deacon and his family do not like the aging pastor who speaks directly from the Bible because he is not "young" enough or cool enough for the new church building and starts a movement to remove him because of it. We stayed in a church like that for many years, choosing to remain silent, praying it would improve, but it did not. I do not believe that the churches of today that focus on buildings, committees, money, social gatherings and cliques are the churches that Jesus and his disciples had in mind when they began the church movement. Although, sadly, it seems like that is the trend for many churches today and it seems to do more damage to christians and new christians than it does to drawing them into honest fellowship with other believers and to the true message of Christ. The "organic" church sounds more to me like how churches were started after Christ's ascension...with people who love Jesus and his message and focus more on that than the church building or church and town gossip. Fortunately for us today, we have the Bible to use as our guideline for living anywhere, at anytime, the early church had only word of mouth of the disciples who met believers in their homes, etc. to spread His Word.

    • PlanksandNails profile image


      10 years ago

      "Organic" church means non-traditional. If the "movement" took over, then the "corporate" structure would then become non-traditional to the trending one. Either way they are man-made and the doctrines and isms are fallible.

      A follower of Jesus Christ goes where He leads. "Organic" or "corporate" are relative to common opinion and irrelevant, but your true calling is between you and your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

      A true follower of Jesus Christ goes where He wants you to; otherwise, why are you there or not there?

      The common trends, movements, labels and opinions of men seem to take precedence these days over obedience to Jesus Christ.

      The genuine "church" are true followers of Jesus Christ no matter where they are, because that is where He wants them to be. Any deviation from that is disobedience.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image


      10 years ago from Eastern Shore

      I cannot believe I found this hub. Lately, I have been considering writing a hub about the very same thing i.e. christians leaving the church. I did not know about the organic church movement but it sounds very interesting...that is how the first early church ministry began, is it not? Why shouldn't we go back to going to "church" where everyone is there for the same purpose....not to build a new bigger-than-everyone-else's church building or show the world how great we are because of all the committees, programs and jobs we can participate in at church...but to actually fellowship with other christians in love,not judgement, worship, not gossip. Christians should go back to their early church roots because the limbs to the tree are dying and it is no longer bearing good fruit.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      What a nice compliment treasuresofheaven! Thanks for stopping by and i'll be checking you out as well.

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 

      10 years ago from Michigan

      All I can say is, You wrote what I was thinking. You are good and a good writer. Well thought out! I will be checking you out. Vote UP

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      THank you mysteriousOne!

    • MysteriousOne profile image


      10 years ago

      Very well done and informative! Thanks and look forward to following you! ~Peace~

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks Simone Smith!

      Healthy Hanna~ Thanks for stopping by- it's nice to know some churches are still trying to encourage the personal atmosphere.

      Mikeq~ thanks and I'll check out the link.

      einron~ thanks for sharing. I believe people volunteering at churches is a true display of love for God and keeping churches for that particular reason. So many churches in the cities I live by are catering to wherever the money is coming from. It's too bad.

      thebrucebeat~ yes, your comment is exactly how I feel.

      MysteryPlanet~ thanks for stopping by. I feel the same way.

      TamaraJo~ You are lucky to find a great church with faith and love among the people. I think you're right about the new testament and what people want. I think so many things in our lives have become distant and institutionalized, and somehow it doesn't feel right for a relationship with God to be that way too. People are starting to recognize this.

    • Tamarajo profile image


      10 years ago

      I have never heard of the organic church but it does sound like something I would like. I agree that the modern structure of the church is very business like and I get frustrated with the sometimes worldly institution feel it can sometimes have.

      I do however attend a wonderful congregation of people that are very lively in their faith and love for one another.

      I do see the scriptures assign to some degree a hierarchy as in deacons elders and others to manage the growing congregation but I highly doubt it was run the way we run it now days.

      I like the home church idea and definitely keeping the family feel to it.

      I think bottom line is we all want what we see in the new testament. The love the power and the purpose they all had and so united in it all.

    • MysteryPlanet profile image


      10 years ago

      This is really nice! I had never heard the term before but have long been a believer that a building ie sign over the door has any bearing on ones spirituality. I have never believed that a man made, tradition filled, organized denomination was a good thing

    • thebrucebeat profile image


      10 years ago from Nags Head, NC

      wherever two or three gather in His name, there He will be in the midst of it.

      i find this trend to be healthy, as the pastor is not elevated to a position of being the oracle delivering the "truth" from on high, but we all are elevated to pastor each other.

    • einron profile image


      10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      I belong to an indigenous church and our minister was not paid until quite recently, because he did not work full time for the church. My father was a minister for over 30 years and was not paid. He became a minister when he was 39 years old, and as a teacher in a Methodist School from 7:30-1:30 p.m. until he retired at 55 years. He continued as a preacher until he passed away at age 79 yeas. He prepared the Holy Communion for the last time and went home not feeling well.

      Our church has a paid minister now and no one else in the church is paid. The organists work for free, the secretary all work for free. We have lots of organists in the church. Lunch and afternoon tea are catered by volunteers.

      A church without a leader is like lost sheep without a shepherd as described in the Bible.

      Matthew 9:36

      "... were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      love it great read..i wrote this sometime back..thought you might like to read it...

      have a great week in him!!!!!

      mike :0)

    • HealthyHanna profile image


      10 years ago from Utah

      I have not heard this term before. It is has an interesting concept and I am actually happy to hear it. In a world of big business and world wide economy, I think we do need to keep some things more personal in our lives. Actually I belong to a church that encourages this very concept.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Most interesting- I had never heard of this before! Thanks for writing the Hub!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Graceomalley~ thank so much for giving a personal perspective as I've wanted to seriously look into this and that's why I did this article- to learn more about it myself. You bring up additional great points. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      W.B Isely~ You have some good points about the younger generations eventually making institutional churches obsolete. It could happen. THe church I went to catered to the older people because they gave the most money to the church- it is a business. You have some of the same questions I do. THanks for stopping by.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Fred~ Sorry to hear this. Most church leaders want to grow a thriving chuch,and not to say it's all about money, but it is part business. THen the church gets too big and the "regulars" start to leave, but the church doesn't pay too much attention because the overall attendance is still high. I'm sure some pastors don't like that aspect of getting more impersonal. It's a sad day when you need an appointment to see the pastor. A friend of mine is going through this too. He said there used to be more community and people helping, but now they tell you to just post what you need help with on a board in the lobby.

      THanks for stopping by Fred.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      THank you very much Sharyn's Slant and HEatherILT!

      Jim with no pants~ I just put up a link to your hub you were referring to- I liked that hub and the 2nd one too. I like doing hubs like this because I learn something.

    • graceomalley profile image


      10 years ago

      I was 25 years in what i now refer to as the institutional church. After moving to housechurch, i can't imagine ever going back. A housechurch is truly a community. You do life together, you survive together. It is a support network like no other.

      What if even half the money spent over the years on buildings that sit empty most of the time, and staff salaries were spent on caring for the poor, sick and needy? Then the church would have changed the world. It's not too late. We can be that church now. We don't need a building - the early Christians did better without them. You don't need career clergy - the Quakers did great with everyone participating. Without a "pastor" to tell the "lay people" what to think or believe, individuals would have to forge their own faith, build an inner life with God. The church would be full of adults.

    • W. B. Isley profile image

      W. B. Isley 

      10 years ago from Monett, MO

      Thank you for the fresh perspective. I am one of those 112 Mil folks that don't attend church and have a very vibrant and fulfilling relationship with God.

      I didn't realize that the organic church movement was resurfacing as a major mode of spiritual worship. I must wonder, as the older population ages and moves off the scene, just how long organized business ... ah ... churches will truly last in the new era.

      Does it make sense to have the business structure in a spiritual movement. Is this a point of distraction to the true point of religion, that of pointing people to a vital and living relationship with the Living God? Would it be better if the Holy Spirit could have a place to move on the members of a group without having to fit itself into a very small mental box, that, as your hub points out, has become most modern Christian churches?

      Another well written hub. Thanks for keeping us thinking and giving us stuff to think about.

      Have fun.

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 

      10 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      You make some very valid points. I attend a church that has gotten so big that 2 morning services are needed. It amazes me how impersonal it has gotten though. There was once a sense of community, I feel it has been replaced by a far less personal herd mentality. What I mean is this. When we gather for worship and the message, we used to let God lead as He wished. If the worship portion of the service was annointed it would continue until God had His way. Now it is far more structured. 2 songs, announcements and a 40 minute message. Herd them in and herd them out. People don't seem to stay together after service anymore. Grab the kids and go. I've thought seriously about leaving for a more personal setting. I used to be able to go in during the week and sit with the Pastor. Now you need an appointment.I long for more connection, but wiil do as God leads. Thanks for getting me thinking!

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      10 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      Most Excellent Twin and Friend,

      Very well done. We speak with one voice on this sis. I worot a piece called The Devil Goes To Church, and it relates to this. Satan exploits situations in our lives to bring out the very worst in us, and has done his best to disrupt main stream religion, doing the same thing there. Smaller groups have tighter control on their focus, and is a darn good option to have.

      Again, well done. Up, useful, and awesome!


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      10 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Great hub, very informative!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      What do you mean Harvey?

    • profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      10 years ago

      iz, This does not only apply to Christianity. H

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      stclairjack~ thank you for the wonderful comment.

    • stclairjack profile image


      10 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      this was fantasticaly well done, informative,... all around good. voted up!


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