Sunday morning has grown excessively defiled in time for my family because, for years, we were used to following around a religious spirit that equated attendance in the institutional church with righteousness.
You can attend an institutional church and still be violating Hebrews 10:25.
And no where does Hebrews 10:25 equate attendance in an institutional church with righteousness.
Those of us who have come into Life After Church are connected with believers in other ways.
And some of us, regardless of the inelegant way of saying it, are called to pastor in the institutional church.
And, furthermore, just because “institutional church” is the Arthur Burk designator I grabbed onto and used, does not mean I think of anyone as institutionalized.
If you connect with other believers in some regular fashion, whether that is in the institutional church or outside of it in an informal setting, that gathering is not more eor less righteous.
And just because you are paid as a pastor, and just because that model has been used for abuse of other believers does not invalidate that form or structure.
Your preferred method of ecclesiology, whether congregational, episcopalian, or presbyterian, or fivefold, or connexialist, or single pastor, or elder team, or Redemptive Gift team model, or some variant of the life after church model, is not more righteous or holy than the next.
And pretending like the mass exodus of 1.5 to 2 million of believers per year is nothing more than rebellion against the command of Hebrews 10:25, or that it doesn’t matter, or that going to church on Sunday or synagogue on Saturday is the most righteous expression shows you don’t understand Hebrews 10:25.
And you might need to let go of your pet interpretation of Hebrews 10:25 for a season while you interact with those sergeants who have been dishonored by church leadership and are not coming back because of the dishonor.
If you have been dishonored by church leadership, then the offense can be killing you.
And if you have dishonored those who are mature and gifted enough to lead whole portions but you didn’t release them after you equipped them, it might be a good thing to go to them and repent for dishonoring.
Some of us are completely trained and do not need to run through your pipeline and vetted through your process.
And some us us that have been called to pastor, some of those in institutional church leadership did not set in place.
Now, I will say this. I have personally encountered rare men and women who have trusted me enough to let me help them with the establishing of churches.
And I am grateful for that grace.
So, as we come in to the Institutional Church, know the mark of grace is upon us, and quit placing undue yokes upon us, and do not look down your noses collectively on those that have been dishonored, got tired of perpetual dishonor, and are now without.
And those who have left the Institutional Church, do not snub those that are within.
Be blessed, gang.
In love with both those in the Institutional Church and without, while denying the idea of being Institutionalized,