morphogenesis of church life

I’ve been giving some more thought to the connections of Cellular Mitosis with church growth and church planting. The body of Christ appears to be a not unlike a multi-cellular living organism.  Multi-cellular living organisms contain more than one cell and have differentiated cells that perform specialized functions. A group of similarly differentiated cells performing a function in a multi-cellular organism is known as a tissue, (or a maybe a denomination or a church/missional movement).

Developmental biology is the study of the process by which organisms grow and develop, (this may be useful for our study of the growth and health of the church). Modern developmental biology studies the genetic control of cell growth, differentiation and “morphogenesis”, which is the process that gives rise to tissues, organs and anatomy.

In the human embryo, the change from a cluster of nearly identical cells at the blastula stage to a post-gastrulation embryo with structured tissues and organs is controlled by the genetic “program” and can be modified by environmentalism factors. Could it be that this might help us better reflect on the environmental factors which shape the structure of our new churches?

Remember that multi-cellular organisms can suffer from cancer when cells fail to regulate their growth within the normal program of development. Sound like anything you can think of?

More later.

Peace, dwight

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  1. dwight ~ i have recently experienced some health issues that have caused me to closely examine the nuances of cellular formation particularly related to cancerous cells . . . being the analytical type with an affinity for theology and ‘church stuff’ in general . . . i found so many similarities that relate to the organism we call the church . . .

    interestingly enough cancer cells begin in an environment of isolation . . . the implications on church health seem both obvious and instructive . . . within the context of faith when i isolate myself from others i personally trend toward spiritual and theological mutation . . . the point that i am fumbling for here is that this cellular developmental process seems to amplify the modern pop theological approach to salvation . . . its just about ‘me-and-Jesus’ . . . or . . . ‘my-Bible-and-me’ . . . spiritual isolation therefore is not only unhealthy . . . it actually creates an environment that fosters sickness and disease . . . if these cellular lesson teaches us anything it teaches us that without the others within our community . . . we are condemned . . . condemned to a mutated spiritual life through isolation . . . and to the utter damnation of our own, isolated opinions . . .