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February 11, 2024
Lesson 6
Church: Organism and Organization
GOLDEN TEXT
“Therefore, brothers, choose from among you
seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy
Ghost and wisdom, whom we will appoint over
this important matter.” (Acts 6.3)
PRACTICAL TRUTH
The Church is a living organism.
However, like any living structure,
it needs to be organized.
DAILY READING
Second - Eph 5.23 Christ, the head of the Church
Tuesday - 1 Cor 12.12-14 The Church as a living organism,
the Body of Christ
Wednesday - Acts 16.4 The organized Church
Thursday - 1 Cor 14.40 Maintaining decency and order
Friday - Acts 15.1-6 Solving problems of a doctrinal nature
Saturday - 1 Cor 16.1 Caring for the saints
BIBLE READING IN CLASS:
Acts 6.1-7
1 - Now, in those days, as the number of disciples increased,
there was a murmur among the Greeks against the Hebrews,
because their widows were despised in the daily ministry.
2 - And the twelve, calling together the multitude of the
disciples, said: It is not reasonable for us to forsake the word
of God and serve tables.
3 - Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men
of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom,
whom we will appoint over this important matter.
4 - But we will persevere in prayer and in the ministry of the
word.
5 - And this opinion satisfied the whole crowd, and they
elected Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and
Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and
Parmenas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch;
6 – and they presented them before the apostles, and they,
praying, laid their hands on them.
7 - And the word of God increased, and in Jerusalem the
number of disciples multiplied greatly, and a large number of
the priests obeyed the faith.
INTRODUCTION
In this lesson, we will learn about the Church as an organism
and an organization. We will see that there is no function
without form nor an organism without organization. This will
help us avoid extremes: a church without any kind of visible
leadership; or a church structured in a rigid institutionalism
that ends up sacrificing it.
We will also learn about the three main government systems
adopted in the Christian tradition over the years and which,
or which, of them our church fits into. We emphasize that
none of these models of ecclesiastical government are evil in
themselves. However, like everything human, they are subject
to successes and mistakes. Therefore, the pattern set out in
the New Testament must be sought as a parameter.
KEYWORD: Organization and Organism
I - THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHRISTIAN
CHURCH
1. The Church as an organism. An organism is seen as a set of
organs that make up a living being. In this aspect, a body with the
different functions of its organs and limbs is understood as the
physical structure of a living organism. Metaphorically, the Church is
defined as “the body of Christ” (1 Cor 12:27), a living organism,
whose head is Christ (Eph 5:23). Just as a body functions through the
harmony of its members, so does the Church (1 Cor 12:12). The
members do not exist independently of each other (1 Cor 12:21).
Therefore, as the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church exists
organically.
2. The Church as an organization. The form of
organization of the Primitive Church was simple, however, it
existed. For example, the church followed the centralized
leadership of the apostles (Acts 16:4). In this way, the
apostles indoctrinated the church (Acts 2:42); they took care
of the administrative part (Acts 4.37); they established local
leaders (Acts 6.6; Acts 14.23); they met in Council (Acts 15.1-
6). On the other hand, we need to differentiate an organized
church from an institutionalized church. The organization is
healthy, institutionalism is not. The organization allows the
church, as a social structure, to move; institutionalism
rigidifies and neutralizes it. An organized church stays alive;
an institutionalized church is heading towards death.
3. Organism and organization. We have seen that the
Church as the Body of Christ is a living organism and
organization. It exists as an organism and as an organization.
In this aspect, we can say that there is no organism without
organization. Every organism needs organization, even the
simplest structures. Some believe that the Church exists only
in the form of an organism and reject all forms of
organization for it. So, for example, for these people, there
should be no leadership or structure at all. However,
according to the Bible, we find the Church as a form of
organism and Organization.
SYNOPSIS I
Just as the human body functions orderly
through the harmony of its members, so is the
Body of Christ.
II - CHURCH: A LIVING AND ORGANIZED
ORGANISM
1. In its local aspect. In the context of the New Testament,
the Church exists locally as an organized community. Thus,
there was the church that was in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc.
Like a living organism, the New Testament church was
organized. For example, she met together (Acts 2:42) and
prayed (Acts 2:42; 12:12). However, he saw the social
demands that needed to be met (Acts 4.35): he instituted the
deaconate (Acts 6.2-6); elected leaders (Acts 14:23); sent his
first missionaries (Acts 13.1-4). All these facts show a living
organism acting in an organized way.
2. In its liturgical and ritual aspect. Every organized
church has its liturgy and rituals. Organization, therefore, is
necessary for a living church. An organized church, for
example, maintains decency and order in worship (1 Cor
14:40). It establishes customs that must be observed (1 Cor
11.16). Likewise, in relation to the ritual aspect. In this sense,
we see the Early Church baptizing the first believers in water
(Acts 8.38,39) and performing the Lord's Supper (1 Cor
11.23).
SYNOPSIS II
Organization is different from institutionalism.
The Early Church exemplifies for us how
important order is for a healthy and effective
faith community.
III - CHURCH GOVERNMENT IN
DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS
1. Episcopalian. This word translates the Greek “episkopos”
and appears a few times in the New Testament (Acts 20:28; 1
Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7). In the current context, Episcopalianism
argues that Christ entrusted the government of the church to
a category of officials called “bishops” or “overseers”. Over
time, this system began to defend the primacy of one bishop
over another and ended up culminating in the Roman papacy.
This model is followed by Catholicism, some Protestant and
Pentecostal denominations.
2. Presbyteral. The office of presbyter (Gr. presbyteros) is
found in the New Testament (Acts 11.30; At 15.2). However,
in the current presbyteral system the church elects presbyters
to a Council. In this way, the Council has the authority to lead
the local church. There is a supreme Council or General
Assembly that exercises authority over the churches of a
given region or country. It is the system followed by
Reformed churches and some Pentecostal churches in North
America.
3. Congregational. The practice of electing local church
leaders in the New Testament context is seen in Acts 14:23.
In this current system, the pastor is elected by the General
Assembly of the local church. Thus, local churches are
autonomous in their decision-making, not subject to any
interference from outside. It is the model followed by
Baptists.
4. The system of government of our church (Assembly
of God). In the North American context, the Assemblies of
God are closer to the presbyteral government model. On the
other hand, in the Brazilian context, our church brings
together elements of the episcopal and congregational
systems. It is, therefore, a hybrid model. This is because until
the beginning of the 1930s, the Assembly of God, having
been founded by Baptists, followed the congregational model.
However, this government system underwent changes
following the creation of the General Convention of 1930,
when elements of the episcopal model were added to its
government structure.
Thus, in the current government model, the vast majority of
churches, although they maintain a certain administrative
autonomy in relation to the General and State conventions, to
which they are affiliated, have a centralized regional and local
leadership model. For example, the authority to establish
pastoral leadership in local churches belongs to State
Conventions. In some cases, this function falls to a
headquarters church that presides over a group of local
congregations affiliated to it.
SYNOPSIS III
The organizational structure model in the New
Testament inspires the Christian tradition over
the years to regulate its ministries.
CONCLUSION
In this lesson, we analyzed the Church as an organism and
organization. What is clear is that the Scriptures highlight the Church
as a living, organized organism. In this aspect, together with the
presbyters and deacons, the apostolic college gave body and form to
the local ministry of the New Testament church. Although this
church had a very simple organizational structure, it nevertheless
existed. On the other hand, although there is no specific rule for how
church government should be in the New Testament, over the years
Christians have sought to be inspired by the biblical text to regulate
their ministers and ministries.
REVIEWING THE CONTENT
1. Conceptualize “organism”.
An organism is seen as a set of organs that make up a
living being.
2. Characterize the organization of the Early Church.
The form of organization of the Primitive Church was
simple, however, it existed. For example, the church
followed the centralized leadership of the apostles (Acts
16:4). In this way, the apostles indoctrinated the church
(Acts 2:42); they took care of the administrative part
(Acts 4.37); they established local leaders (Acts 6.6; Acts
14-23); they met in Council (Acts 15.1-6).
3. What facts show the Church as a living organism
acting in an organized way?
Like a living organism, the New Testament church was
organized. For example, she met together (Acts 2:42)
and prayed (Acts 2:42; 12:12). However, he saw the social
demands that needed to be met (Acts 4-35) - He
instituted the deaconate (Acts 6.2-6); elected leaders
(Acts 14:23); sent his first missionaries (Acts 13.1-4).
4. Explain the episcopal and congregational system of
government.
In the current context, Episcopalianism argues that
Christ entrusted the government of the church to a
category of officials called “bishops” or “overseers”. In
the current congregational system, the pastor is elected
by the General Assembly of the local church. Thus, local
churches are autonomous in their decision-making, not
subject to any interference from outside.
5. Explain our church’s system of government.
In the current government model of our churches, the
vast majority of them, although they maintain a certain
administrative autonomy in relation to the General and
State conventions, to which they are affiliated, have a
centralized regional and local leadership model.
REFERENCES
CPAD. O CORPO DE CRISTO - Origem, Natureza e Missão da Igreja
no Mundo. Rio de Janeiro: Casa Publicadora das Assembleias de Deus
(CPAD), 2024. (Lições Bíblicas, Adultos CPAD).
SOCIEDADE BÍBLICA DO BRASIL (org.). Bíblia De Estudo Plenitude
Revista E Atualizada. Barueri, SP: SBB, 2005.
Slides created by Celso Napoleon
SBS | 1st Quarter of 2024 | CPAD Adults | Theme: THE
BODY OF CHRIST - Origin, Nature and Mission of the
Church in the World | Sunday Bible School | Lesson 6 -
Church: Organism and Organization
LESSONS:
Lesson 1- The Origin of the church
Lesson 2 - Biblical Images of the Church
Lesson 3 - The Nature of the Church
Lesson 4 - The Church and the Kingdom of God
Lesson 5 - The Mission of the Church of Christ
Lesson 6 - Church: Organism and Organization
Lesson 7 - The Ministry of the Church
Lesson 8 - Discipline in the Church
Lesson 9 - Baptism – The First Ordinance of the Church
Lesson 10 - The Lord's Supper – The Second Ordinance of the Church
Lesson 11 - The Worship of the Christian Church
Lesson 12 - The Role of Preaching in Worship
Lesson 13 - The Power of God in the Mission of the Church

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Lesson 6 - Church: Organism and Organization.pptx

  • 1. February 11, 2024 Lesson 6 Church: Organism and Organization
  • 2. GOLDEN TEXT “Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we will appoint over this important matter.” (Acts 6.3)
  • 3. PRACTICAL TRUTH The Church is a living organism. However, like any living structure, it needs to be organized.
  • 4. DAILY READING Second - Eph 5.23 Christ, the head of the Church Tuesday - 1 Cor 12.12-14 The Church as a living organism, the Body of Christ Wednesday - Acts 16.4 The organized Church Thursday - 1 Cor 14.40 Maintaining decency and order Friday - Acts 15.1-6 Solving problems of a doctrinal nature Saturday - 1 Cor 16.1 Caring for the saints
  • 5. BIBLE READING IN CLASS: Acts 6.1-7 1 - Now, in those days, as the number of disciples increased, there was a murmur among the Greeks against the Hebrews, because their widows were despised in the daily ministry. 2 - And the twelve, calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reasonable for us to forsake the word of God and serve tables. 3 - Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we will appoint over this important matter.
  • 6. 4 - But we will persevere in prayer and in the ministry of the word. 5 - And this opinion satisfied the whole crowd, and they elected Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch; 6 – and they presented them before the apostles, and they, praying, laid their hands on them. 7 - And the word of God increased, and in Jerusalem the number of disciples multiplied greatly, and a large number of the priests obeyed the faith.
  • 7. INTRODUCTION In this lesson, we will learn about the Church as an organism and an organization. We will see that there is no function without form nor an organism without organization. This will help us avoid extremes: a church without any kind of visible leadership; or a church structured in a rigid institutionalism that ends up sacrificing it.
  • 8. We will also learn about the three main government systems adopted in the Christian tradition over the years and which, or which, of them our church fits into. We emphasize that none of these models of ecclesiastical government are evil in themselves. However, like everything human, they are subject to successes and mistakes. Therefore, the pattern set out in the New Testament must be sought as a parameter. KEYWORD: Organization and Organism
  • 9. I - THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 1. The Church as an organism. An organism is seen as a set of organs that make up a living being. In this aspect, a body with the different functions of its organs and limbs is understood as the physical structure of a living organism. Metaphorically, the Church is defined as “the body of Christ” (1 Cor 12:27), a living organism, whose head is Christ (Eph 5:23). Just as a body functions through the harmony of its members, so does the Church (1 Cor 12:12). The members do not exist independently of each other (1 Cor 12:21). Therefore, as the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church exists organically.
  • 10. 2. The Church as an organization. The form of organization of the Primitive Church was simple, however, it existed. For example, the church followed the centralized leadership of the apostles (Acts 16:4). In this way, the apostles indoctrinated the church (Acts 2:42); they took care of the administrative part (Acts 4.37); they established local leaders (Acts 6.6; Acts 14.23); they met in Council (Acts 15.1- 6). On the other hand, we need to differentiate an organized church from an institutionalized church. The organization is healthy, institutionalism is not. The organization allows the church, as a social structure, to move; institutionalism rigidifies and neutralizes it. An organized church stays alive; an institutionalized church is heading towards death.
  • 11. 3. Organism and organization. We have seen that the Church as the Body of Christ is a living organism and organization. It exists as an organism and as an organization. In this aspect, we can say that there is no organism without organization. Every organism needs organization, even the simplest structures. Some believe that the Church exists only in the form of an organism and reject all forms of organization for it. So, for example, for these people, there should be no leadership or structure at all. However, according to the Bible, we find the Church as a form of organism and Organization.
  • 12. SYNOPSIS I Just as the human body functions orderly through the harmony of its members, so is the Body of Christ.
  • 13. II - CHURCH: A LIVING AND ORGANIZED ORGANISM 1. In its local aspect. In the context of the New Testament, the Church exists locally as an organized community. Thus, there was the church that was in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc. Like a living organism, the New Testament church was organized. For example, she met together (Acts 2:42) and prayed (Acts 2:42; 12:12). However, he saw the social demands that needed to be met (Acts 4.35): he instituted the deaconate (Acts 6.2-6); elected leaders (Acts 14:23); sent his first missionaries (Acts 13.1-4). All these facts show a living organism acting in an organized way.
  • 14. 2. In its liturgical and ritual aspect. Every organized church has its liturgy and rituals. Organization, therefore, is necessary for a living church. An organized church, for example, maintains decency and order in worship (1 Cor 14:40). It establishes customs that must be observed (1 Cor 11.16). Likewise, in relation to the ritual aspect. In this sense, we see the Early Church baptizing the first believers in water (Acts 8.38,39) and performing the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11.23).
  • 15. SYNOPSIS II Organization is different from institutionalism. The Early Church exemplifies for us how important order is for a healthy and effective faith community.
  • 16. III - CHURCH GOVERNMENT IN DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS 1. Episcopalian. This word translates the Greek “episkopos” and appears a few times in the New Testament (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7). In the current context, Episcopalianism argues that Christ entrusted the government of the church to a category of officials called “bishops” or “overseers”. Over time, this system began to defend the primacy of one bishop over another and ended up culminating in the Roman papacy. This model is followed by Catholicism, some Protestant and Pentecostal denominations.
  • 17. 2. Presbyteral. The office of presbyter (Gr. presbyteros) is found in the New Testament (Acts 11.30; At 15.2). However, in the current presbyteral system the church elects presbyters to a Council. In this way, the Council has the authority to lead the local church. There is a supreme Council or General Assembly that exercises authority over the churches of a given region or country. It is the system followed by Reformed churches and some Pentecostal churches in North America.
  • 18. 3. Congregational. The practice of electing local church leaders in the New Testament context is seen in Acts 14:23. In this current system, the pastor is elected by the General Assembly of the local church. Thus, local churches are autonomous in their decision-making, not subject to any interference from outside. It is the model followed by Baptists.
  • 19. 4. The system of government of our church (Assembly of God). In the North American context, the Assemblies of God are closer to the presbyteral government model. On the other hand, in the Brazilian context, our church brings together elements of the episcopal and congregational systems. It is, therefore, a hybrid model. This is because until the beginning of the 1930s, the Assembly of God, having been founded by Baptists, followed the congregational model. However, this government system underwent changes following the creation of the General Convention of 1930, when elements of the episcopal model were added to its government structure.
  • 20. Thus, in the current government model, the vast majority of churches, although they maintain a certain administrative autonomy in relation to the General and State conventions, to which they are affiliated, have a centralized regional and local leadership model. For example, the authority to establish pastoral leadership in local churches belongs to State Conventions. In some cases, this function falls to a headquarters church that presides over a group of local congregations affiliated to it.
  • 21. SYNOPSIS III The organizational structure model in the New Testament inspires the Christian tradition over the years to regulate its ministries.
  • 22. CONCLUSION In this lesson, we analyzed the Church as an organism and organization. What is clear is that the Scriptures highlight the Church as a living, organized organism. In this aspect, together with the presbyters and deacons, the apostolic college gave body and form to the local ministry of the New Testament church. Although this church had a very simple organizational structure, it nevertheless existed. On the other hand, although there is no specific rule for how church government should be in the New Testament, over the years Christians have sought to be inspired by the biblical text to regulate their ministers and ministries.
  • 23. REVIEWING THE CONTENT 1. Conceptualize “organism”. An organism is seen as a set of organs that make up a living being. 2. Characterize the organization of the Early Church. The form of organization of the Primitive Church was simple, however, it existed. For example, the church followed the centralized leadership of the apostles (Acts 16:4). In this way, the apostles indoctrinated the church (Acts 2:42); they took care of the administrative part (Acts 4.37); they established local leaders (Acts 6.6; Acts 14-23); they met in Council (Acts 15.1-6).
  • 24. 3. What facts show the Church as a living organism acting in an organized way? Like a living organism, the New Testament church was organized. For example, she met together (Acts 2:42) and prayed (Acts 2:42; 12:12). However, he saw the social demands that needed to be met (Acts 4-35) - He instituted the deaconate (Acts 6.2-6); elected leaders (Acts 14:23); sent his first missionaries (Acts 13.1-4).
  • 25. 4. Explain the episcopal and congregational system of government. In the current context, Episcopalianism argues that Christ entrusted the government of the church to a category of officials called “bishops” or “overseers”. In the current congregational system, the pastor is elected by the General Assembly of the local church. Thus, local churches are autonomous in their decision-making, not subject to any interference from outside.
  • 26. 5. Explain our church’s system of government. In the current government model of our churches, the vast majority of them, although they maintain a certain administrative autonomy in relation to the General and State conventions, to which they are affiliated, have a centralized regional and local leadership model.
  • 27. REFERENCES CPAD. O CORPO DE CRISTO - Origem, Natureza e Missão da Igreja no Mundo. Rio de Janeiro: Casa Publicadora das Assembleias de Deus (CPAD), 2024. (Lições Bíblicas, Adultos CPAD). SOCIEDADE BÍBLICA DO BRASIL (org.). Bíblia De Estudo Plenitude Revista E Atualizada. Barueri, SP: SBB, 2005.
  • 28. Slides created by Celso Napoleon SBS | 1st Quarter of 2024 | CPAD Adults | Theme: THE BODY OF CHRIST - Origin, Nature and Mission of the Church in the World | Sunday Bible School | Lesson 6 - Church: Organism and Organization
  • 29. LESSONS: Lesson 1- The Origin of the church Lesson 2 - Biblical Images of the Church Lesson 3 - The Nature of the Church Lesson 4 - The Church and the Kingdom of God Lesson 5 - The Mission of the Church of Christ Lesson 6 - Church: Organism and Organization Lesson 7 - The Ministry of the Church Lesson 8 - Discipline in the Church Lesson 9 - Baptism – The First Ordinance of the Church Lesson 10 - The Lord's Supper – The Second Ordinance of the Church Lesson 11 - The Worship of the Christian Church Lesson 12 - The Role of Preaching in Worship Lesson 13 - The Power of God in the Mission of the Church