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Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities Paperback – September 1, 2009

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Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities + Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity + The Untold Story of the New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143476866X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434768667
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The author of "Pagan Christianity?" (with George Barna), "Reimagining Church," and the bestselling "From Eternity to Here" has written a detailed manual on how to start and sustain an organic church. Everything from what to do with the children, to the developmental stages of church growth, to the diseases of an organic church and their cures are all covered in this comprehensive volume. Church planting principles for organic styled churches are packed together with the author's practical experience of living in and starting such churches. Each chapter is full of advice, outlining the unique problems that such churches will face and their solutions. Church planters of all types will benefit from this book as well as those wishing to explore an alternative way of church gathering. Christian Book Reviews, 2009 --Christian Book Reviews

A Book Long Overdue

In my opinion, this book has been long overdue. For many years we have needed a book that draws both from the New Testament and current practical experience in the areas of church planting and sustaining. Some very helpful books from the last century were Watchman Nee's "The Church and the Work" and Roland Allen's "Missionary Practices: St. Paul's or Ours'?" which are both quoted in Viola's new work. However, what has been needed is a fresh look with current real-life experience in this arena. We have needed someone to give modern day language within the context of what God is doing today. Frank Viola does just that in "Finding Organic Church." He skillfully draws from both the New Testament and over twenty-one years of experience planting and working with New Testament style churches. This piece of work will be invaluable to anyone who seeks to be involved in such churches and especially those who feel called by God to plant them. The book is divided into four main parts:

* Planting the Seed - Biblical Principles for Church Planting
* Tilling the Ground - Answers to Questions
* Cultivating the Soil - Practical Steps for Beginning
* Pulling the Weeds - Health and Development

In all of these parts, Viola takes the biological (organic) view of the church, as given in the New Testament, and weaves that theme into all of his points. Then he dives into each one of those areas that include: The need for itinerant church planters, God's way of planting churches, objections and questions, practical help for meetings and community life, the stages of an organic church, the seasons of an organic church, the diseases of an organic church, and how a worker cares for an organic church. This book thoroughly covers the topics of finding, planting, and sustaining organic expressions of the church. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is truly a treasure that is chock full of resources and helpful to anyone involved in or interested in God's way of planting and developing His church on the earth today. - Rebuilders, 2009 --Rebuilders, 2009

About the Author

FRANK VIOLA is a popular conference speaker and the bestselling author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life, including From Eternity to HereRevise Us Again, and Jesus Manifesto (co-authored with Leonard Sweet). His blog, "Beyond Evangelical," is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today:

More About the Author

FRANK VIOLA AUTHOR has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church.

Viola's books help serious followers of Jesus to know their Lord more deeply, gain fresh perspectives on old or ignored subjects, and make the Bible come alive.

His blog - - is regularly ranked in the top 5 of all Christian blogs on the Web today. His podcast - Christ is All - has ranked #1 in Canada and #2 in the USA on iTunes.

Frank Viola, author, lives in Florida.

Customer Reviews

I truly believe that Christ longs for His body so live and love in organic communities.
Jimmy W. Adams
I have read all five of Frank Viola's books, and this one brings everything together in a very down-to-earth, focused and practical manner.
R. Stoeckicht
I would recommend this book to anyone who is ready to experience church in a more real and growing way.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Chad Estes on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Finding Organic Church" is Frank Viola's newest book in his growing library of resources for understanding and operating as the Body of Christ. This book builds upon the work done in the series by detailing how an organic expression of the church is started and can be sustained. It is easy enough to jump right into the discussion with this newest offering, but it will make you hungry for what has come before. Save your pennies, you will want the whole set.

Viola again has done his research on the topic; the chapters are full of quotes and footnotes from other authors. It makes this book an extremely valuable resource for students or potential church planters who have immersed themselves in this discussion. At the same time the writing is friendly and does not read as an academic book. It is both thorough and passionate.

Rather than build a view of church planting around theories, Viola presents principles that he finds in scripture as well as his own church planting experience. His presentation encouraged me to ask questions and to try to understand how I had previously interpreted these passages. He suggests that "most Christians are stuck in the prevailing paradigms that dominate the religious world today." I for one do not want to be a slave to paradigms, but want to be free to discover God's purposes for his beloved bride. This book is helping me in that regard.

Finding Organic Church is presented in four sections:
* Planting the seed - Biblical principles for church planting
* Tilling the ground - answers to questions
* Cultivating the soil - practical steps for beginning
* Pulling the weeds - health and development

Whether you are a student, pastor, church planter or just see yourself as the average, Joe Christian, there is value in this book for you. Even if you don't agree with all of Viola's premises you will be challenged with this discussion and will find great values to hold fast to.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David D. Flowers on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Radical Church Restoration
Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities by Frank Viola
A Book Review by David D. Flowers

Frank Viola says, "The church is a living organism." Many Christians would concur with Viola that the true nature of Christ's church is born out of the soil of His finished work and moves forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. However, as Viola has pointed out in his radical church restoration series, many believers have no problem speaking of the church as organism, but they are quite content to go on practicing the church as an organization.

The series begins with The Untold Story of the New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament Church. Viola relies on some of the best New Testament scholarship to vividly retell the story of the first-century church in Acts. The New Testament comes alive in one sweeping narrative to give us a clear picture of the life and nature of those first Christian communities.

Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices is the second book in the series, but the first to really capture the attention of Christians across the country. Frank Viola and George Barna team up to give their readers a critical examination of the last 1700 years of church history.

Does the institutional church have any biblical and historical right to exist? Viola asks, "Are the practices of the institutional church God-approved developments to the church that the New Testament envisions? Or are they an unhealthy departure from it?"

As I have stated in my review of PC in January 08, this book "may very well be the most important book written on the Christian church in the last two millennia.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Damanzu on September 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will undoubtedly come as a much needed resource to all those who are seeking to live out their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ organically outside the religious systems of today. It is unique in that it gives a balanced discourse between the spiritual and the practical side of organic church life. For example, Viola early on lays out the spiritual principle that organic church life is rooted in the Godhead in eternity past where three things were occurring: an exchange of divine life, an exchange of divine fellowship and a divine purpose to enlarge that life and fellowship. It was amazing to see these three elements unfolded and passed down from the Father to Jesus, then to his disciples and eventually to the church in the book of Acts. If a church is not living and being sustained by divine life, then what you would ultimately end up with is something man made. This is what "authentic" means to me: that something is actually `of the spirit' originating in the very life of God through His body. Have you ever hungered for something authentic?

There are other extremely significant spiritual principles laid out in the first few chapters of the book related to the restoration of true apostolic workers, and biblical church planting methods. In a world today with endless missionary/evangelistic methods that have probably touched us all at one point or another, Viola finally comes to draw the line between our ways and God's ways of raising up churches and church planters. Even though I have read the book of Acts and the Epistles many times before, I somehow failed to see/understand the apostolic activities of the 1st century. Something `of old' is being dug up and restored today.

Finally, this book redefines the meaning of the word `practical'.
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