The next step in this journey was to begin to meet with other believers that have also left the institutional church. Meeting with others in the body of Christ is very much part of New Testament teaching. We need one another. My wife knew an older couple that we could fellowship with. They had been out of the institutional church for several years. We began to meet with them on a weekly basis in the beginning. Our meetings were focused on sharing what Christ had been teaching us, or Scriptures that we were reading. These meetings also had some great food involved as well. We would sit and talk for several hours, and the time seemed to fly right by. There was no sermon or teaching given by one individual that would send us straight into nap mode. We all had the opportunity to share and use our gifts. Our gatherings weren’t run by any one person.
In meeting like this, we grew to have a close bond with not only this couple, but their family as well. In time, another younger couple joined our fellowship and made it even richer. The husband was a musician and would lead us in worship songs. This made our meetings even better. We had no leader or pastor to lead our meetings. Jesus Christ was our leader and we followed His lead. I would consider the older couple as elders, but this was only natural for them with their wisdom and experience. After experiencing this form of “organic church”, I cannot see myself ever returning to the institutional church.
I have recently relocated on my own to Arizona due to a change in my family situation. I have looked into finding an “organic church” meeting with the help of Milt Rodriguez of www.therebuilders.org. So far there aren’t any meetings in my area. Perhaps it is time that I should begin one, Lord willing. I still meet via Google Hangouts with the older couple on a weekly basis. While we aren’t in the same room, the rich fellowship is the same. I can see in my own life, how the Lord is helping me to know Him in a deeper way and to rely on Him for all my needs. He has shown me that He “is my life” as quoted in Galatians 2:20. Conventional thinking would say that I should be going backwards in my relationship with Christ by not being in the institutional church. I would say that it is just the opposite, and would invite anyone to step out of the institution and into a deeper walk with Christ.