The Church Dropout

Have you dropped out? I have, for now. I’m not ready for another congregational adventure, not least because of reasons mentioned here before, so you can understand why this article is meaningful?

Like many charismatic Christians, Bob* (not his real name) has given up on church—at least for now. The first congregation he attended closed after two years when the pastor was caught stealing money from a church account. When Bob joined a second church he was pressured by leaders to attend two membership classes a week in order to be a part. When he balked at the demands, he was told he was “rebellious.”

Bob left that church wounded and disillusioned. He avoided his Christian friends for a few months, wondering if he even belonged in a community of faith. Finally he joined a casual Bible study that meets at a coffee shop once a month. Today, that monthly meeting is his only connection with Christians—but he considers it his “church” for now.

Bob’s story is certainly not unique.

Read the Rest here The Church Dropout.

HT

In the end, I am not set squarely on the House Church model, but perhaps more like a Cell structure. I see a cell-church as safe guarding against heresy and cultic groupings, as well as providing some central clearinghouse, authority, etc… (Not the covering type, to be sure.) But, we will see

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18 Replies to “The Church Dropout”

  1. I’ve seen the cell structure running rampant with heresy and definitely with cultic groupings. But, that’s just a personal experience. Had a church in the area for which having 12 and exactly 12 in the groups was some kind of magic.

    1. Indeed, you are correct, but then again, we know of denominations who do the same thing. Maybe its just me, but I think that some sort of centralized structure is needed.

        1. On the subject of heresy,

          Any conversation about house churches naturally gravitates toward the issues of heresy, but from a historical perspective, the assumption that smaller churches are more vulnerable to heresy is problematic.

          I have to agree – “But the best solution to heresy in the church is not to have better-trained leaders in the pulpits but better-trained people in the pews.”

          Here is how I see it,and I am willing to be wrong, and acknowledge that in this area, I am in flux, so to speak.

          We know that the Spirit puts leaders in place, but the entire Church is supposed to be missional and ministerial For some reason, we have gotten away from the idea that everyone is a member of the body, and as members of the body, we must be active and engaging, not just with those on the outside, but with each other. Everyone must contribute. The leadership is not about control or obedience, but about guiding, and, (non) shepherding (movement). The structure must not be monolithic either. One just one leader? Or, better yet, one group of leaders?

          Let the leaders be entrusted by the Spirit and verified by the Saints. Then, let the whole (local) body work together. In the cell formation, I do not envision on person on top, or the same group of people over seeing all cell structures. Instead, the body should grow and take on an asexual split. After so long, the cell splits, and replicates. This trains leaders and sends those leaders out.

          Returning to heresy, there must be guard against it, but even control brings heretical problems. Even good leadership brings heresy at times (although there should be a limit on what is heresy). This is why all members of the structure must in someway be educated past their conversion experience (I use this term loosely) and be at some point motivated to active contribute and engage in the local church.

          As I said, still in flux here, but trying to piece everything together and to bring my thoughts to somewhat stable position on this matter. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

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