the weblog of Alan Knox

Some observations about structure

Posted by on Jul 24, 2008 in discipleship | 6 comments

Here are some thoughts about structure:

  • Healthy organisms have structure.
  • Unhealthy organisms have structure.
  • Dead organisms have structure.
  • Things that are not organisms at all have structure.
  • Structure is not a sign of life.
  • Structure can aid organisms.
  • Structure can hinder organisms.
  • Structure can kill organisms.
  • The type of structure can be an important issue.
  • When an organism is living, the structure adapts to the needs of the organism.
  • When an organism dies, the structure remains fixed.
  • Structure is not the most important thing.
  • Structure can be a very important thing.

While the above observations do not only apply to the church, I think they do apply to the church.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-24-2008

    “Dead organisms have structure”

    Check the cemetary! True ideed and very thought provoking post friend. God bless.

  2. 7-24-2008

    Great post…is it really that we need less / more structure?

    I certainly don’t have the answers but from my experience of “church” I’ve yet to meet one that needed MORE structure. I don’t doubt it exists, but I haven’t encountered it.

  3. 7-24-2008


    God has blessed me, and he continues to bless. Thank you for the kind words.


    Thanks for the comment on this post and the previous. Yes, I was serious that I would be disappointed if someone said they were going to leave to start a church, and then didn’t.

    This post really wasn’t about less or more structure. It’s more about determining whether the structure that we have (and all groups of Christians has some type of structure) is beneficial to the church or not.


  4. 7-25-2008

    Alan, I've found in my church & business experience that EVALUATION is not easily done. Honestly evaluating your structure and even knowing the criteria by which one would do that often turns into a political MESS! Everyone might agree that things are broke…but figuring out how to restructure seldom turns into less structure or more fluid structure. Interesting…

  5. 7-26-2008


    They certainly do apply to the church!

    One of my dictionaries defines the structure of people groups as,”The people in a society considered as a system organized by a characteristic pattern of relationships.”

    In my opinion,whatever that’s worth,we neither need more or less structure, but to STOP trying to decide what the structure (characteristic pattern) ought to be.

    The difficulties often accompanying Christian groups is when “structure” is developed according to standards set by personal or group taste, denominational or personal expectations, the latest fad churches or guru leaders/authors.

    When there is any attempt to add any, or all, of the above to the structures determined by the Chief Architect (Heb.11:10), we end up with a perversion of the blueprint He has so clearly drawn up, and revealed to us, resulting in lifeless orthodoxy (Lionel’s “dead organisms”) which thrives everywhere.

  6. 7-26-2008


    There is a chance for a group to determine they have too much structure. What chance is that? The same chance that leaders will humbly admit that they do not have all of the answers and allow others input and decision making. Where there’s a Holy Spirit, there is always a chance.

    Aussie John,

    That was an awesome comment. You need to write more blog posts!