A notable difference between the nature of the church as an institution and its nature as an organism can be gleaned. Yet, the Church is simultaneously both and one is not better than the other; both are components of the body of Christ’s constitution. Each understanding is correct.

As an institution, the Church is the formal organization of the church that seeks to govern church politics and economy. Councils, pastoral ministry, or any form of hierarchal structure in the church constitutes an ecclesiastical institution. This institution can accomplish great material feats such as feeding the poor or setting forth plans in a planned and organized manner. The institutional church parallels other institutional entities such as schools or businesses since the institutional has a voice and participates in certain professional fields.

As an organism, the Church is the entire body of believers who labor to usher into the world God’s will. According to a scholar, the church “differs from the institutional church in that it refers to the church, not as a unified organization, but rather as an aggregate of individual believers.” It may or may not be formally unified under a certain corporeal authority, but it may still share the same head of the body Christ: Jesus Himself.

The difference between these two natures of the Church is that the former is more concerned with material matters and while the latter is focused on spiritual concerns. However, each is necessary for a healthy church government, and each is correct in their actions in their own right. That being said, Christians are participants in both the Church’s institutional nature and its role as a legitimate organism in the world. Accordingly, Christianity is inarguably a large structural entities, albeit with varying denominational authorities and theological or ecclesiological frameworks. However, it is a large structure of the Christian faith. At the same time, it is an organic structure, whose primary component is the individuals comprising it. As such, the Church is as much of a living thing as a beehive or an ideological manifestation.

The institutional avenue of the Church has the duty to ensure that the voice of Christianity is heard across the world. Alongside church leaders and geopolitical powers within the Church, we must address particular issues without hesitation.

The pulpit, along with its press, is one of the most powerful tools in the world. The saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” is certainly true in the religious landscape of Christianity. The institutional Church carries a great weight on its shoulder being called to interact directly with the physical world as much as any secular entity.

As an organism, the Church is more spiritual in nature, or rather, its mindset and contribution to the social landscape is predominately and foundationally ethereal. In addition, it is the individualistic aspect of the Christian Church (of countless men and women called into different vocations), calling, and offices. Into each part of the world that participants in this organism, the gospel of Christ is exhumed, and souls are prophesied to. As an organism, the Church is a spiritual entity of prayer and evangelization, which fulfills God’s will through personal interaction rather than large-scale institutional work.


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