Churchless Christianity

I don’t necessarily like the title of the blog post because many people who have left “church” are finding a renewed sense of what CHURCH was in Acts 2 and probably should be today, in forms that no longer resemble the sunday service of recent years/. However, this blog post is worth the read:

“Is Churchless Christianity a move of God?”

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

10 Comments

  • I made a comment to Rickard a few months ago that the further I move away from the “church”, the more I move toward the Church. I’m wanting to find my church DNA so to speak. You know what I mean?

  • Good point. But how many little congregations of like-minded people on a sunday morning refuse to assemble with the city-wide church or the nation-wide church because of doctrinal differences?

  • I really think that ecclesiology in America is pretty skewed. I have often thought about how many denominations define themselves by what they don’t believe rather than what they do believe ( I being a part of the former). But I hold out still….Jesus can fix anything.
    I can’t think how many times I have seen the gospel played out in the streets and sitting around a table after dinner somewhere. So the connection of a churchless church makes sense.
    I read the article and it scared me a little bit (seemed to fundie for my tastes). I was one of the Acts 2 people for years, and I have matured a little bit more. I really think that if the church is looking for an ancient perspective to base new movements off of we should maybe look ahead a few centuries. From my work with young adults I know that many of them are tired of “Well, I think…..” doctrines having heard to many amateur expositions of Philippians from their dorm bible study.
    Maybe we should look into some of the articulations of the 3rd or 4th century church, being that it was a time of doctrinal stability and their was an organizational structure.
    Thanks for the link though, it was interesting.

  • as one of the mentioned pastore that left the ministry after over 20 years in it, i agree with much the article has stated . that being said, i have not left god if he indeed is love . after 7 years of not attending church i have no desire to return to the ministry or attend a church outside of meeting with people around a coffee table so to speak . here is a bit i recently wrote for a couple of websites that asked me about my story .
    What would cause a pastor of over 20 yrs to leave the ministry? My reasons and story are uniquely mine. Maybe you have been in my shoes in one way or another. I started out in the Pentecostal and charismatic traditions of showing up early and leaving late from every church meeting I ever attended. As a result, as soon as I was asked to do anything, I always said yes. In our churches, the way into ministry was to apprenticeship, as higher learning was suspect as not being spiritual enough for true ministers.
    I was as sincere as anyone I have ever met. My motives were honest, simple, and trusting that I was truly following God. I was led to believe that my calling and gifts would make room for me in the kingdom. It sounded good to me, and I bit hook, line, and sinker.
    Soon I was the anointed worship leader, Christian school administrator, elder, assistant pastor, building coordinator, TV host, hospital visitation minister, home group leader, secretary, board member, and anything else that was needed on the staff of the largest charismatic church in our four county area. I was in. I was busy, and I was burning for God.
    Sometimes weeks went by without one night at home with my wife and children. I was too anointed to need time at home, right? Does it sound familiar yet? As life unfolded and people kept encouraging me to keep on fire for God or at least burn out trying, my wife developed asthma. To make a long and painful story shorter, let’s just say that it was assumed we were losing our anointing or walking in some secret sin for this to happen.
    Weary and burdened with asthma and the disdain of those who once saw us as their leaders, we began to question everything called ministry. I am leaving out a ton of details for time’s sake, but as the 20 years went by, we found ourselves losing any desire for involvement in formal ministry. Instead we loved spending time with those who had nothing to do with church, such as Lou, the bassist and head of the satanic church in Laramie, Wyoming. We loved our time with each other and our kids. One thing led to another, and since October 2000, I have not been in the formal ministry. This has been a disappointment to my father, as well as to those who knew us as church leaders.
    These days, I find myself more love with myself as a person, with my wife Tammy, with our three grown kids and their sweethearts, and with our grandson. I also love all the good people I have met through the Elks Club, the Chamber of Commerce, my current work in real estate and bus driving, the local bowling and golf leagues, and our downtown community parties.
    In short, I have become almost everything I used to preach against. What has become of my theology? I have experienced everything my charismatic background had to offer, and found myself lacking love for myself, others, and God. Since I have left organized religion and detoxed for seven years, I find love increasing in every way. I think I am reduced to love. If God is truly love, then I love him because I am into love more than ever.
    Previously, people were a burden. Now, I love spending time with anyone, regardless of his or her belief system. People are no longer a project to bring to conversion, or a possible warm body to prop up a church program, or a parishioner who might tithe regularly so we can grow the church. I am done with pimpin’ the program.
    It’s healing just to write a bit of my story. Do I miss the ministry or attending church? No. I wouldn’t trade my life for what I had. How could I afford to leave? I drove truck, waited tables, delivered pizza, installed cabinets, worked in a factory, sold houses, drove school bus, and worked at a golf course. Some of this I still do. If you are dying to get out, it isn’t easy. It’s a process. It’s embarrassment at its highest in the church world. But hell, it’s so worth it.
    I’m just starting to live and love. I’ve been rambling I know, but hey, it’s not bad for sitting here as the bus driver, watching a high school basketball game, and typing with my thumbs on my htc ppc 6800 smart phone. Thanks for listening.
    Need to talk? Call me anytime at 419-783-9593 or shoot me an email at shokthegerman@gmail.com and if you ever get to Defiance, Ohio we need to have a meal together. Seriously, I have the time now J

  • thanks for your story, shok. yes . . sounds familiar, heard it many times but always important to hear fresh voices.
    my wife’s uncle was Assembly of God pastor until he got sick, had a heart attack [lack of faith . . obviously] and lost his job, respect and everything else. he never made it back either.

  • would highly recommend alan jamieson’s two books: ‘a churchless faith’ and ‘journeying in faith’.

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