What I’ve Learned in Organic Church: The Difference Between Brotherhood and Buddyhood (this includes Sisterhood)

This is the first part of the mult-blog series titled, What I’ve Learned in Organic Church. To read the introduction to this series, CLICK HERE.

Brotherhood and Buddyhood: There is a Difference

In the Organic expression of the church, we share many things with each other. We share our homes, our personalities, our strengths, our weaknesses, and our lives. This leads quite naturally to strong friendships and deep bonds of love and trust with each other. Of course, this would be quite impossible without the common bond of Jesus Christ. For we come from an extremely wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, influences, and geographical locations. Without Christ as the center and bonding-glue, I can say without a doubt, we would not have fellowship.

But here in lies one of the first lessons of true organic fellowship.

In the natural, we make friends based on preference and common interests. If I’m into playing guitar and listening to rock music, I may make friends with others of the same interests. They can be Christian or not, and I still would thoroughly enjoy spending time with them. Many people make most of their friends this way.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this. But if organic church is to work, we must take our relationship preferences to the cross. We must let them die and allow the Lord to resurrect them.

We can’t make church work the way we want it to. We can’t meet around the fact that we are all into rock music, working out, sports, outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, surfing, or a long list of other things. We have to meet around the Lord Jesus Christ and our common bond to see His eternal purpose seen on the earth; that He would have a place to dwell, a temple made up of brothers and sisters in Christ. Without that, we become just another club. And the church of Jesus Christ is not a club. It’s something much deeper, much more grand, much more precious, and holds much more responsibility.

Letting the Preferences Die

For me, I had a dream of what I thought OC what going to look like. In my mind, everyone was going to be so cool and so like me (key word here is me) and we were all going to have a great time together. But I quickly realized that the people I had joined in fellowship were all so different from me. They were polar opposites in many ways, at first glance. Even with that, they were quite different from each other too. It was like being in a bowl of multi-flavored jelly beans. So many different flavors and colors.

Letting our preferences in Christian relationship die isn’t as easy as it may sound. We live in a culture now that offers a vast array of different Christian “churches” that meet according to common interests. We have options now to satisfy our flesh. But is that really what our Lord is after? That is the question.

This is the difference in brotherhood and buddyhood. Brotherhood goes to the cross, dies to self in order to see the Lord’s goals are met. Buddyhood simply wishes to see others that I prefer to hang out with met. I’m not saying that we don’t become buddies in the church. We do. But it’s beyond that…much beyond.

In buddyhood we are more apt to see what we  can get out of the relationship. In brotherhood, we are constantly looking to see what Jesus Christ can get, first, then what our brother or sister can get out of it. This is putting other’s interests above our own.

Buddyhood is conditional to how we may be treated, how the other person makes us feel, or whether or not we have fun together. But brotherhood is completely, 100% unconditional.

Brotherhood doesn’t allow natural differences like political beliefs, sports teams preferences, or even doctrinal differences determine fellowship. In Brotherhood, the fellowship is based, founded, and relied upon Jesus Christ. Nothing more, and nothing less (even though Christ is infinite).

The Reason for Brotherhood

We don’t become brotherhoods and sisterhoods over night. We also don’t become brother/sisterhoods without reason. The reason is because our Lord is after something. He’s looking for a spiritual house for His dwelling (1 Peter 2:5). We simply can’t be “built together” just so we’ll have some other like-minded Christians to hang out with. It is for Him, and we are included and we get to share in the blessing. But if nothing else in the entire Bible is clear, it is that without struggle, without death to self, there can be no blessing. A quick read of the story of Joseph, David, and Jesus will abundantly confirm this.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16)

Being “built together” isn’t always an easy task…maybe it’s never an easy task. Personalities collide, differing opinions clash. Brothers and sisters must let go of their ideas and opinions and allow the Lord to have His way. At other times, we must boldly proclaim our ideas and opinions even when others may disagree. It’s a matter of listening and obeying the Lord. But, as we should know, anything that is of Christ brings unity…not division (that is, He doesn’t divide spirit, but He does divide flesh from spirit).

To say it more plainly, what I’ve learned in Organic Church is that if I’m not willing to take my opinions and preferences to the cross, I will have a very difficult time. I simply won’t be able to go very long before I give up. But the cross leads to resurrection…and oh how beautiful it is! Words fail to describe the peace and life that come with resurrection from the grave.

It takes time, but it’s all been quite worth it. I’ve been in this group for 2 years, and I can’t wait to see what the coming years in Christ have to bring. The value of the cross is priceless.


52 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned in Organic Church: The Difference Between Brotherhood and Buddyhood (this includes Sisterhood)

Add yours

  1. yea its like at the wedding cerimony when the man and woman light their individual candles then bring them to the center to light the one center candle then they snuff out their individual candles to be one.


  2. This is really good stuff, Michael! It is a beautiful thing to experience relationships whose sole foundation is Jesus Christ. It is impossible without the cross, and I’ve experienced how truly deep the cross must go sometimes to separate the flesh from the spirit, but resurrection life most surely is worth it.

    And to know that our Lord’s desire is being met is…

    …well, it’s more than I have to the words to express.



  3. Thank you Michael. This is such a blessing to me and an encouragement to the His church. Ever think of coming to visit us in Nashville? We’d love to have you brother!


    1. Yes, I always think about coming to Nashville. Circumstances just haven’t allowed that to happen…yet. But my plan to come eventually. I’ve heard only great things about you guys.


  4. Thanks for this Michael. I’m reading your blog from Australia and this was exactly the right medicine for where I’m up to in the whole process of moving towards being built into a local organic church. Bless you.


  5. The fellowship that we share among each other is actually sharing in the life of Christ Himself, but in one another. It is true that our flesh gravitates toward others who’s flesh is like ours. The Spirit of God transcends all of this. I think it is actually dangerous and detrimental to the body to “join” around things of the flesh. It creates factions in the body and strongholds in our lives. It can be a very subtle danger – as we can also join around things that are “about Christ” but not Christ himself, such as doctrines and Christian lifestyles.


  6. I like reading posts like this, and look forward to reading the ones to come. At the same time, I find it very frustrating after 2 years outside the institutional church still not knowing of anything other than more institutions to attend. How do you ever find out about others in your area who are either interested in gathering with Christ as the Head, or who already are meeting this way?


    1. Thanks for the kind words. They are a great encouragment. I suppose I’m my own worst critic when it comes to writing…I’m never happy with it lol

      Thanks for commenting, Cindy.


  7. Some lovely (and sobering) wisdom here!
    It reminds me of what Paul says the body is meant to do…”GROW UP!”

    (Eph 4:13-15 until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, being blown and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the sleight of men, in craftiness to the deceit of error, but speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, the Christ, …)


    1. One of my fav passages…there’s a LOT of insight in that passage about the Body of Christ and how she functions and builds herself up with Christ as Head.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂


  8. What a great article! Affinity groups hold nothing to Christ! The resurrection through the cross and into the family, brotherhood, and sisterhood is pure peace. Thank you for sharing this perspective from your experience. I affirm you and am affirmed by you through this article. I look forward to more fellowship as your brother. Much love.


  9. Wonderful description of the refining process of blending individuals into a unified (by the Spirit) group Michael!

    The most amazing part to me is the unimaginably awesome and mysterious way that the Lords works in us to cause us to be willing to go through this process of becoming a brotherhood (or married couple, etc) to begin with!


  10. I’m clearly getting to this late, but this is a great insight, brother! And something I have difficulty with, especially when it comes to being a brother to people outside of the main “fellowship”, so to speak. Amen to unconditional love, and may we all practice it.


  11. This is one of the deepest and most important things to learn. Nothing is as important as the oneness. It is the master key to unlock all spiritual blessings. In God’s eternal purpose there is only one person, one way, and one goal- Christ, the cross, and the Body.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that the Lord will continue to show you more!


  12. You are not far from the kingdom of God, because indeed the institutional church is not God’s will.

    I expect, however, that your pursuit of “organic church” will end in disappointment as well. This is the age wherein we should be seeking the kingdom of God – not church. The kingdom of God is the rule of Jesus Christ in our hearts 24/7/365.


  13. Very well thought out article Michael. It’s the personal love relationship with Jesus and one another that organic/home church provides, which will bring us back to true Biblical Christianity.


  14. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed too.


  15. Christians may never be united unless the self within them is dead with Christ on the cross.
    Why do we have so many divorces? This is because the man and the woman didn’t crucify their selves on the cross of Christ for their union.
    A man (or woman) cannot live alone, he (she) needs to live in a family (or community). A man’s faith cannot grow by itself, it needs the good soil, the water and the sun (i.e. the church, Christ and God’s Grace). Without the complete and favourable conditions, faith will wither and die.
    Jesus has establish his church and nominated the church leader (Peter) and the initial working team (the apostles). Let no one to think we don’t need the church and its leaders.
    The Organic Church will encounter many problems as any other established churches, but let’s pray that the Spirit of Christ will sustain it and help it to provide shelter to many lost sheep that Jesus wants to bring back into his fold.


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