For several years now there has been a trend in christianity of breaking free from religious bondage. Christian’s are leaving stuffy, traditional, and highly religious churches for more dynamic and grace filled churches. Pastors and church leaders are leaving traditional denominations and organizations to break free and build modern, life giving churches. One of the best decisions I have made in recent years was to leave an organization. It was obvious the organization that I was licensed with and the direction God was leading me were at opposite ends of the spectrum. I broke free from the organization that was bound with rules, restrictions, and lifeless traditions in order to build a life giving, life changing church. Perhaps that’s your story as well. You are a christian who has left a lifeless and religiously bound church, or you are a Pastor who has broken free from a denomination or organization. I’m glad your free.
However, I’ve noticed another trend. It’s a trend to not connect, not belong, and keep my options open. Some christians have multiple churches without being committed to one. Some Pastors play the field of ministerial fellowships, church networks, and other groups. Young Pastors and Church Planters are the en vogue group right now. In the church world they are the prettiest girls at the dance and have multiple groups who are courting them for a chance to give them a spin around the floor. I’m glad your free, but I also believe the keys to healthy Christians and healthy Churches are things like commitment, loyalty, and faithfulness. When I disconnected from the organization it took a little while to figure out where God was leading me and who I should connect with. I get it. You need some time to figure out who you are now and what’s next for you, but at some point you are going to need to connect and commit. For me, I connected with Destiny Ministerial Network and the Association of Related Churches known as ARC. When people ask I describe it this way, Destiny is my family and ARC is my business. Destiny is where I go to know and be known. ARC is where I go to learn how to implement structure and strategy to improve our greeters, ushers, and parking team. I learn things from the resources that ARC provides and then I bring it home to discuss it with my Destiny family. Generally I give around 4% of our churches total revenue to Destiny. They helped us start and I want to support them and be faithful in giving to them. We give to ARC as well. I have friends in many other networks and fellowships and I love them all, but I can only be committed, loyal, and faithful to a few things. I chose to connect to those two things. What about you? I’m glad you broke free from a lifeless church, but what church do you call home now? Pastor or Church Leader, I’m glad your out of the organization and you feel like the prettiest girl at the dance, but who have you connected to. I’m glad your free, but healthy Christians and healthy Churches understand that God blesses loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment. You will need to choose a church. You will need to choose a spiritual covering. You will need to be submitted to spiritual leadership. As Pastors are we preaching loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment to others and not practicing it ourselves? I’m glad your free, but loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment are still keys to the kingdom.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself about faithfulness?
1. Who am I tithing to? Every church and every christian should be faithful in tithing to their spiritual leadership. If every christian and every church tithed, there would be no lack in the church today.
2. Who am I open to? Who has the ability to speak into my life? Every believer and every church should have godly and trustworthy leadership and be submitted to it. God has spiritual government and submission is the key to power in the kingdom.
3. Who am I doing life with? Who am I committed to stay connected with through the highs and lows of life? It’s about relationships. Be in committed relationships and you will see them grow and bless you. Find a church, find a network, find a fellowship and stay connected in the good times and bad.
5 thoughts on “I’m Glad You Left the Religious Organization, but…”
You are dead on. It is absolutely a problem of authority and submission and connection — but I fear the problem is systemic. So many Christians reject the idea of authority and submission, even of connection. I don’t know how often I’ve heard, “All I need is my Bible; just me and Jesus,” or how often I’ve seen new churches spring up because one person had a disagreement with another. The word usually translated “fellowship” in the New Testament is κοινωνία (koinonia), communion. The Church is supposed to be a sharing as one, something whole and undivided and inseparable and organic, like a body — the Body of Christ. “We, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). Jesus prayed that we might be One, as He and the Father are One — as inseparable as the Three in One of the Trinity (John 17:21). How does “leaving denominations and organizations” — or encouraging others to do so — fit with His admonition and His prayer and desire for us?
Joseph… Thanks for the comment. Leaving a denomination may not be right for everyone. Some may choose to be connected to a more formal denomination. For me and a lot of church planters we needed to disconnect in order to build churches that were free from a lot of dead traditions. The blog wasn’t to encourage leaving denominations/organizations, but to make sure you don’t lose spiritual government and being faithful if you do.
Out of curiosity, what were some of the “dead traditions”?
Holy WOW! You reading my diary???? AWESOME word!
Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.