“Organic” church? “Simple” church?   That sounds weird.

Actually, “simple” church isn’t that “weird.”  It’s not even new.  It’s “lowering the bar on how we ‘do church’ and raising the bar on what it means to be a disciple.”  It’s as old as the first century and the New Testament.   In fact, “simple” church is so  ancient, it’s future.

Check out “Some of Our Friends Think We’re Crazy.”


Times are changing.

More and more people are crying out for authentic encounters with God and communities of friends.  Many long to experience church in a fresh, simple way.  They long for something more–organic.

More and more Christians are saying:

“I love the Lord Jesus.  I love his Word.  But I just can’t keep ‘doing church’ the way I have been.  Can you help?”

That’s what “simple church” church is about.

“Simple” or “organic” church is an old concept.  In fact, it’s so old, it’s new.  It’s New Testament ancient –  yet as  future as next year’s news.  An “organic” church is made up of living things and is very much alive.  Everyone participates.  Everyone contributes.  Organic church begins where the lost are, bringing church to people rather than bringing people to the church.

As an “organic” or “simple” church, The Sheepfold isn’t about a building or paid staff.  We’re about relationships: with God, the family of God, and those who do not yet know God.  We gather around the Scriptures to study, learn, grow, and serve one another and Christ without church buildings, professional clergy, denominations or formalized Sunday worship programs.

We see church not as a place to “go” or something we “do,” but as who we are.

We attended another  “ministerial fellowship” meeting the other day.

Curious label, “ministerial fellowship.”  When’s the last time you heard an outfit describe itself as a “a non-professional fellowship,”  an “unpaid volunteer fellowship” or a “rank and file fellowship”?

What does this label imply?  Exclusivity?  Elitism?  A divide between those who belong to the “ministerial” fellowship – e.g., the paid professionals, and everyone else, e.g., the second string?


Is that what “church” is about?

Someone recently opined, “I’m not against leadership.  I just think ‘leadership’ looks more like someone washing other people’s feet than a CEO in a tie.”

When the last time you saw the former in an IC setting?

Interestingly, this same “ministerial fellowship” meets for the purpose of “trying to find ways to be more effective in ministry.”

Is it that mysterious?

How about: Dropping the elitist “‘ole boys club”  mentality. Being inclusive.   Opening your  meetings.  Inviting anyone who’s engaged in ministry to attend and contribute.  Getting rid of the clergy/laity divide.  Embracing the universal priesthood of all believers, where ministry and service are based on gifting and calling, not on an autocratic, top-down pecking order.

How Would It Look?

What would “church” look like then?  How much more “effective” would “ministry” be?   What if every clergy member made it a goal to work him/herself out of a job?  What if “ministry” was something all believers were actively engaged in, rather than watching a few paid professionals operate while they sit on the sidelines and spectate?

Stay tuned for Part 2.

What a great weekend!  WA-HOO!

Good Friday included finger food, light snacks and a review of the MGM classic, Ben Hur (1959 – Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd).

Kids suggested celebrating Easter “out in the boonies” this year.  Per their request, we met at Bogachiel (a few miles from the state park) for an  outdoor  worship celebration.

Bogachiel is a couple hours away and the weather was a bit dodgy, but no one complained.  It was an exciting, dynamic and blessed day!

On Easter Sunday soaring cedar trees, singing streams, moss-festooned conifers and shy spring wildflowers provided a glorious backdrop to celebrate the Mightiest Moment in History – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.    Kids led singing and joined in reading the Easter narrative from portions of Matthew 27 and 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20.

Just before communion a kid pointed upward and hollered, “Look!  Look!”  Sure ‘nuf, he spotted the rainbow.  We celebrated communion and sang some more.  Kids and adults took turns selecting (and leading) grand old hymns or upbeat praise choruses – acapella!  (The squirrels didn’t seem to mind.  :))

After a shared meal,  kids scampered around on a “Truth (plastic egg) Hunt,” finding treasures from Scripture (inside the eggs, with candy) all over the place.  Hard to tell who had more fun – the adults hiding the “Scripture eggs”, or the kids looking for them!   Those who wanted to went hiking later.  It was a beautiful, memorable day glorying in the resurrected Savior.

Because “church” is who we are, not somewhere we go, The Sheepfold isn’t tied to one location or time slot.   We enjoy flexibility and creativity and the chance to “be the church” wherever we go.  Easter Sunday was a prime case in point.

Can’t wait to see what doors God opens and where He leads next!  He is risen!