Our vision for the church plant we’re part of is to see an organic multiplication movement emerge in Stockholm. Multiplication of disciples, multiplication Christian communities etc… We really do not want to just see the group grow bigger and bigger, we want to send people out to make disciples, to live out the Kingdom of God and to shape communities in the networks and contexts they’re part of. We also want the communal life to be exactly that – life, not organized programs and events. At times it is quite hard to envision how and what this may look like and if it even will be sustainable. For me, I am fully aware that there isn’t much in my pastoral training and theological education that has prepared me for what we’re doing now! Which is both quite scary and exciting.

However, in all this quite fluid and unstructured work we do realize that some form of structure is needed, but we’ve been very hesitant to move in that direction. Structure has to emerge organically, out of necessity, not imposed beforehand prior to any growth (because we just don’t know what sort of structures will be needed).

Well, in some ways organization is like fire, its a real blessing when handled properly and with care, but it can also go horribly wrong. Organization can lead to institutionalism, which is a real killer in terms of Christian movements.

Institutions are organizations initially set up in order to fill a necessary religious and social function and to provide some sort of structural support for whatever that function requires. In many ways they fulfill the very purpose of the structure; organization is needed is we seek to act collectively for a common cause. All movements start this way, but in the initial stages structures exists solely to support the grass roots. The problem happens when the newly instituted structures move beyond being simply structural support to become a governing body of sorts – structure becomes centralized governance. So religious institutionalism happens when in the name of some convenience we set up a system to do what we must do ourselves so that over time the structures we create take on a life of their own.
                                              Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways 

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