You know organic food is good. Well, at least good for you. You can tell because it's more expensive.

But how about organic ministry? What does that mean exactly? And how would you make it more organic if you wanted to?

In recent years, it’s become common to call more natural, spontaneous ministry “organic.” We think that’s great when it comes to loving our neighbors, or what we callFront Yard Mission! So many aspects of loving our neighbors end up being unplanned and unstructured.

If you’re like many people, some of your best neighboring moments have happened spontaneously. But if we look closer, there’s more to it than that. Even in our organic spontaneity, there’s often some organization. Author Caesar Kalinowski says it like this:

“I have found it helpful to think about life in a missional community through two filters: organized and organic. In the same way that natural, healthy family life contains both of these elements, some aspects of life together are “organized” and structured, and some aspects are more “organic” or natural.”

When we’re looking through both filters, we can see how the organized and organic combine to create an impactful Front Yard Mission!

Case in point,Sandy shared a story on FYM HQ this past week from her Front Yard Mission:

“I invited a new neighbor on my street to a Christmas cookie party 2 years ago on December 1. She was excited to come and meet her neighbors. Unknown to me she had a stroke a few days before the party. Another neighbor came and shared that news and we took a collection for her family for Christmas gifts. After she returned home I was able to help her with doctor appointments and pray with her. She has returned to faith and is recovering enough to walk with a cane! God is good!”

Awesome story, Sandy! Thanks for sharing.

Think about this for a second, through both of those filters: What was organic and what was organized about Sandy’s God Story?

Sandy organized the Christmas cookie party. She intentionally invited her neighbors. Later, she purposely helped with doctor appointments and prayer.

All that organization created an opportunity for some awesome “organic” things to happen: Another neighbor shares about the stroke. They spontaneously take up a collection for Christmas gifts. And organically, over time, this neighbor returns to faith and is recovering from the stroke!

See the power of organic and organized working together?

It might seem faddish, but calling ministry organic is really quite biblical. The Bible was ALL OVER organic ministry before it was cool. Jesus often describes his Kingdom in natural, organic ways.

But all this organic growth also has an inherent structure and organization to it. Vines bear fruit when they’re cultivated. Same with trees. Same with the Kingdom. We need both organic AND organized.

Here’s a question for you to reflect on: Which way do you lean? On the more organic side (spontaneous, unplanned, unstructured, “natural”), or the organized side (planned, structured, intentional)? Why?

We want to be both organic and organized. Which is more important? Wrong question. We need both. If you lean one way, consider teaming up with someone who leans the other way. Front Yard Mission isn’t meant to be done alone; we need each other! We’re after planned spontaneity. Intentional unstructured availability. Isn’t that how Jesus did it? He was a man with The Plan, but he was always interruptible, improvising.

We plant and water so that God makes it grow. We set the sails so that the Holy Spirit can blow. We are organically organized. We are Front Yard Missionaries!

Let’s make this practical. How can we be organically organized?

Bob shared a story from his Front Yard Mission this past week:

“I was able to pray with my neighbor when I saw an ambulance outside her house. There were other neighbors with her. I felt the need to ask her if she wanted me to pray for her. She said yes. I started to pray and the other neighbors gathered around us and some placed their hands on her. She was thankful. I too was thankful that I obeyed God’s prompting.”

This is a great example of what we’re talking about. Bob was spontaneously available when the ambulance came, and then he intentionally prayed for his neighbor. Then others spontaneously joined in.

How about you? How can you be organically organized in your Front Yard Mission? Here’s a few ideas:

Which of these could you try this coming week?

A little organically organized, planned spontaneity can go a long way! Let us know how it goes! And remember, Pray First, Love All, and Invite Often!



Covocational: Oversee Digital Discipleship with CalvarySC. Front Yard Missionary. Owner & Lead with TwelveRock. Physician Placement w/ Advent. 2-time author.

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Steve Lutz

Covocational: Oversee Digital Discipleship with CalvarySC. Front Yard Missionary. Owner & Lead with TwelveRock. Physician Placement w/ Advent. 2-time author.