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Why do churches fail?

Updated on February 14, 2012

wilderness posted this comment on a forum page, as I replied I realised that this was more a hub than a comment.

"Maybe the answer is to remove the churches, not the 1%. Without the church the 1% will fade into obscurity and not be replaced.

As you say, it is not the church that typically does good, is is those few in it that follow the dictates of Christ. Or Buddha, or whatever."

OK, I will disregard the Buddha comment, I know many nice Buddhists but discarded the religion many years ago, in the same way I discarded socialism, as I discard any religion or political concept that removes Christ from the equation.

The enemy has always attempted to divert attention from Christ.

Ages before Christ ever came to save humanity, the enemy was planting false religions to emulate all the tenets Christ brought together in one place.

The enemy will allow you to follow whatever turns you on, as long as you delete Christ from the scenario.

If you took away all churches, believers would still meet in fellowship and unity, but that presents it's own problems.

Let's say someone starts meeting with other believers, we exchange viewpoints, and start reaching out to the community with ministering the words of Christ into their lives, people get released from their bondage to the human condition, they start joining us in our fellowship.

Soon those who show more wisdom and discernment are looked upon more favourably by those who are new to the faith, and those people are perceived as the leadership.

Eventually the 'body' decide they need a 'pastor' and 'select' someone who they believe has been anointed by God to guide them.

The new pastor needs help, so they turn to the other 'anointed' leaders and we then have the 'Elders' back in place.

Now, as the body grows and the outreach to the community brings in more members, the leadership realise that they need a larger place than the pastors living room to meet in, so they hire or buy a building.

Hey Presto, we are back with the church, complete with a leadership and a congregation, which in itself is not a bad thing, because the leaders are all anointed men of God with wisdom and discernment, and lead well and honourably.

But leaders age and retire or die, or move on to other fields of ministry, or break under the strain of leadership and fall out of ministry, sometimes for all time.

So the vision gets carried forward by those who follow, but who follow the doctrines that have now established their church policy.

Slowly the corruption will seep into the body, as it grows too large for the pastor to KNOW everyone personally, to be able to know what their problems are and deal with them, and the congregation have been split into 'house groups' with leaders who deal with them.

The pastor finally has reports rather than contact with his congregation, and has leadership meetings to discuss new initiatives to grow the church.

Ephesians 4 12 - 16

His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church),

[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

What we need....

......are small bodies of believers, and when one grows larger than where those who form it know everyone and everything about them, we need to send out a small number to start afresh, on their own, able to draw on their fellow believers for support and guidance, but NOT a sub division of the 'parent' church.

The rot starts when we grow larger in anything, be it a business or a ministry, large brings economy of scale, but it also brings degeneration guaranteed, because those who have the ability to create, are normally lousy managers,and those who make good managers cannot normally create and sustain originality, they are cookie cutters and cookie cutters follow the rules, they do not exercise wisdom and discernment.

So create and move on and make sure that you encourage those bodies so created to stay small and connected.

The relevant scripture is the instruction that we (believers) are to bring all those we meet to the 'fullness of Christ' which in turn varies as an instruction dependent upon where those we meet are at in their faith, at that time.

  • If they do not know Christ as their Saviour and King, then we need to effect an introduction.
  • If they know of Christ, and maybe even have accepted Him as Lord over their lives, we need to mentor them with scriptures and guide them into a closer personal relationship with CHRIST, not us, or our church.

Basically we are to help people to get closer to Christ, and in the process make ourselves redundant.

Just as with our children, we are to teach them to walk and talk with understanding, care for them as they make their mistakes, and be ready to assist when needed, but to let them lead their own lives, always there if needed, never imposing upon them our version of what is right, but able and willing to show them where they went wrong if requested.

As the saying goes "Preach the gospel at all times, if required, use words"

Finally, when we have managed to make ourselves redundant, be willing to learn from them, when they exceed our wisdom and discernment.

In every encounter with a fellow human being we meet, we must be prepared to either bless them, or be blessed by them.

Who will you bless or be blessed by today?


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    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Once again, I find myself in agreement with you. Being unable to fit into any church, I have often pondered the usefulness of church as a local organization. The NT indicates church bodies were by city, and people met in "small groups" (I really hate that phrase because it turns fellowship and worship into a containable system of comfort) where everyone was equal in that they were all able and encouraged to bring something of spiritual worth to the table for everyone else.

      In our system, 99 out of a 100 Christians believe in the modern version of church: sit in a pew, sing songs, donate money and let the pastor (and a few who are "called") do the missionary work. Shake hands and go home or go hang out with your cultural peers and exclude anyone who doesn't make you feel comfortable.

      The idea of "too big" is making me think, because any organization that has money and influence is extremely susceptible to infiltration by greedy men, and every church I have been to has been affected by this - and I have seen it in churches that grew to a sustainable size - meaning money is flowing in and the pastor is catering to his congregation.

      Well said agua.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks Robert Erich,

      I will get around your pages also, you look interesting (though far too good looking!) and I enjoy spirited young peoples ideas and outlooks.


    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 

      8 years ago from California

      You are very wise and insightful - both in the forums and in your articles. I agree with you that small churches would have a powerful effect and encourage people to be focused on the mission (sharing the love and life of Christ) and not on spending time solving trivial problems. I enjoy your writing and look forward to reading more!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Well CJ, we have seen the same things, but then we also know that apostasy is the state for this point in time, so who can be surprised?

      Thanks for commenting,


    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      9 years ago

      Greetings, John:

      Well written article as usual and as always - a great message! Thank you.

      During my lifetime, I have probably attended 20 different churches and of those 20 churches, I wouldn't be surprised if a dozen of them were different denominations.

      Unfortunately, many of the churches of our day seem to be heading in the same direction and that direction seems to be on a slippery slope straight downhill.

      For the life of me, I cannot find what I consider to be a good church. It seems so many of them have been polluted with synodical doctrines and religiosity, that they gloss over the life of Christ and the love of God entirely.

      I also see a rise in the "word-faith" movement as well as in prosperity preaching. We really need to turn this ship around or it's going to sink in shallow waters.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi LR, the next relevant words are "Slowly the corruption will seep into the body" - yes, there are many corrupt bodies today.

      But the believers still exist as a remnant, always have, always will.


    • profile image

      Lone Ranger 

      9 years ago

      Aguasilver, you said:

      "Hey Presto, we are back with the church, complete with a leadership and a congregation, which in itself is not a bad thing, because the leaders are all anointed men of God with wisdom and discernment, and lead well and honourably."


      John, I know you mean well and I believe your heart is in the right place but I have met many preachers, teachers, and church workers who are wolves in sheep's clothing. The Almighty used these same words to describe priests back in Old Testament times as well.

      I will confess that I have little faith in contemporary clergy because it seems that most have been led astray by the tenets of prosperity preaching, word-faith movement and cotton candy theology.

      Best wishes and be well - L.R.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      9 years ago from Southern Clime

      Churches fail because they are full of sinners who serve a God who does not fail. Now, that's where we get our blessing! We are forgiven. We are given mercy, grace, and salvation. Awesome!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      well said bro!!!!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Kiara Dearest, I think stating that the Roman Catholic Church is the ONLY one to follow is as silly as stating that the Protestant affiliation is 100% correct.

      I try to never belittle my brothers and sisters from other denominations.

      The temporal problem is called Churchianity, no matter what hue it comes in.

    • Kiara Dearest profile image

      Kiara Dearest 

      9 years ago

      Here is my sentiment.

      I still believe the traditional law on Christianity should be practiced always with slight innovations considering the human mind evolution.

      Trust the only Roman Catholic Religion.


    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Exactly SanXuary, we forget that once we come to faith, we enter the Kingdom of Heaven, become heirs to the throne and have noting more to gain on earth, the pearl of great value has been found and we will set about claiming it.

      When folk ask where am I resident,I tell people I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, born in England but temporarily residing as a denizen of (whatever country I am living in).

      Home is where your heart is.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I explored this very concept of why churches have failed and it was easy to learn why. They fail to promote a life in Heaven over a life on Earth and simply replace it with a structure of human selfishness and agendas that they continue a full participation of Earthly and often evil facets of Earthly life. They do not allow free will and spiritually growth and maturity to be learned by a personal relationship with God and an existence within the body. Instead you fit into a system of judgment, hypocritsy, and condemnation of Earthly people with Earthly agendas towards there ends. I believe in GOd and the Bible and in the desire to save my soul I have found little sanctuary in any churches I have visted and I have visited many.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Micky, could not have said it better myself, but God still loves them even though they are way off line.

      He loves me and takes me back when I wander of on my own errors, and He wants us to love them, not pander to them!

      Butsometimes love must be tough to get through their thick skulls and growing egos.

      In Gods toolbox you are being used as a hammer right now, and that beats what it hits, but the force is still felt by the one doing the striking.... I have many times hit things with a hammer to do the job, and felt that reverberation up my hand and arm and felt the hurt it caused me.

      Of course there was also the pleasure of seeing what I hit fall apart eventually, and no matter how long it takes, it will break under the hammer!

      Hammers are needed just as much as the soothing balm that took away the aches and pains from wielding the hammer.

      Find some balm to apply yourself, we love you and God loves you and with God on your side, you cannot lose, even though it may hurt to win the victory.


    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      Sorry. I just see rubberneckers sitting on a pew waiting for the last prayer with a foot in the aisle to get a head start on getting home to fried chicken, pot roast, football, basketball, and more distractions to avoid looking at the world as it really is. I see no participation. I see no seeking of truth. God is not to be put in an institution.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi Carl, fact is we all move through these stages, but some dig their heels in where they feel comfortable, I've preached hell-fire in my time, with good effect, but prefer the love of Christ to the threats of hell for soul winning nowadays.

      We grow as we get closer to God, it's not more bible or less world, its more God and an open heart to learn from Him.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Love fellowship! Never had a hankering to attend church. Sometimes, I've enjoyed the sermon, but all too often the message seems plastic and disconnected from Christ and salvation. Too often it seems almost secular and sanitized.

      My grandfather was passionate when he preached, but the message seemed too much hellfire and brimstone and too little spiritual awakening (the advent of everlasting life).

      Brilliant hub, John.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      The bastards do drive me down. My hubs are trashed. Work is wasted over and over. This is robbery but no-one seems to mind any part of it.

      There really are not enough good people in action.

      The frustration in many people for "mischief at workplaces" lead many to distrust the benevolent God. The aging are often ostracized or given the worst jobs to force early retirements, etc., etc. I've seen this and heard of many types of "control" techniques. It's an intolerable world if one expects the God to come to their aid. This is where faith is often lost. Most folk are just greasing the machinery.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Micky, both stay approved, I never delete any comment unless you are selling spam from the comments box, all comments are relevant.

      My suggestion was for you to put the hubs that HubPages refuse to publish into a blog, then use HubPages to drive traffic to your blog.

      I don't do politics, so the political colour of anybody makes no difference to me, if I like someone and they have a few quirks I cannot agree with, so be it, we won't agree on those points, and I will enjoy the bits of them I do enjoy.

      Dusty is my friend because he's Dusty, not for whatever he believes outside of Christ.

      It's good to see a passionate and driven man seeking to bring the truth, but I will join with others in saying don't harm yourself in the quest for your objective, I have no idea what you have experienced, in 'Nam or since, but I know that you have always appeared to have reconciled yourself to the corruption that is called politics causing all this grief to humanity, and that is good, but please step back, take a long ride and realise that we all love you, and want the best for you.

      In other words, don't let the bastards grind you down.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      And to stay true to who I am - I am no longer a friend of Dusty's. He misrepresented himself way beyond lying as to what political "mob" he was joined with. He deceived me for over a year. I still have a hub about D but I do not change history. People here on hubpages take up different names, avatars with which to attack you. Things are not as they appear.

      I will remain Micky Dee and Micky Dee only.

      Delete this if you'd like. I just don't put up with people who feed war.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      My hubs are held in my "account". I have complained to the "team". I have carped about it for a year or so.

      I have a hub refuting some lies about Jane Fonda that never happened. UNPUBLICHED

      I have a hub about the VA healthcare. MONKEYED WITH. WORK QUIT UPLOADING.

      I have a hub concerning April Gallup and what she saw and her lawsuit against the powers. UNPUBLISHED - LABELED REPEAT.

      JW posts The Vietnam War hub that is repeated from decades of info. Admission of sources almost copied and pasted down to the wrong wing opinion. No repeat? Nothing new about Vietnam. I can tell you this - there is no way to kill million people without torture. I wass in Cam Lo. I heard the screams of torture. I was told of captives. I was told there was torture. Now what Christian wants to tell me that "torture by America was exaggerated"? South Vietnam IS STILL devastated from agent orange, blue, and white. America is recognizing the MUTATIONS in American offspring from agent orange, etc., doesn't acknowledge the problem in the MANY generations of Vietnamese that will be deformed. I could go on with this hub that I SIDESTEPPED for months and months. I ignored it.

      I have protested the unfairness of this and what is NEOCONservative fascism. It takes Christian children to war to maim other children of God. WE ARE PAWNS that this government will not serve. Justice is not served. It is not served here.

      I have been here for 2 years. I have 200plus hubs close to 260 or so. I know how to create a hub.

      What we need is honesty and a desire for Americans Christians and otherwise to stand FOR honesty, fairness, etc. - ideals that should be America's and the Christian's.

      Withholding information isn't American and it shouldn't be a Christian's. I'll come to the aid of any hubber that stands up. I don't visit hubs of hubbers that don't walk the walk. Christians as well as any religious have to prove their mettle.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Micky, what you need to do is the following:

      1. Write all your hubs in Word to copy and paste later

      2. Put up a blog, where you publish your articles for real.

      3. Post hubs that ONLY have a limited (and politically corrected) synopsis of the article you have published ON YOUR OWN CONTROLLED BLOG and put links there which take them to the blog.

      4. Get all your friends here (and you have many) to also vote your links hub up and send it to their FB pages and friends lists.

      If you want help with this I can help you 'sanitize' the actual hub containing the links so that nobody will be able to complain about it.

      I think you are well loved here Micky, you are the real thing, and apart from anything else, any friend of Dusty's is a friend of mine.

      Email me if you want help:

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      Hi John. I just wrote an email to hubpages team about the last dismantling of one of my hubs:

      "I guess Mr. Deeds is the main honcho for banishing my hubs.

      What is your problem with "More Quotes By James Watkins"?

      It's the Vietnam War hub by James Watkins that calls me homosexual.

      He says I'm not a Vietnam Veteran. Etc.

      But if you weren't of the same naziNEOconJOB you would acknowledge this.

      But you are.

      You're a person who owns this mess and you consider yourself Rupert Murdock?

      You know well enough what's going on and you control a lot of this mess.

      It must be you that watches my hub and makes it hard for pictures and texts to load.

      I push on to get the work done.

      You see a pattern.

      YOU play with my hubs.

      You play with the truth.

      YOU Mr. Deeds are the culprit.

      You Mr. Deeds perpetuate the war machine.

      What are you afraid of?


      Run for office.

      You fit right in.


      Mr Deeds or one of the henchmen will write me an email. They may take my hubs off completely. MOST EVERY HUB that attacks the ENDLESS WAR gets hacked. I'm working - no pictures load. I work. No text will load. I think it's a computer/internet glitch. No - it isn't. I can follow what they do. For some of my hubs of SUBSTANCE I would wait until all work is completed before my hubs are sabotaged. Now they track me very well. The moment I publish truth - my hubs are trashed - I mean they can be trashed by one of the henchmen with the comment box - then the hub disappears.

      The hub can just be labeled "repeat". That is FOR SURE a PERSONAL "opinion". It can be called "hate" if I repeat the hate of another hub.

      But this never ends. I'm sure the owners of hubpages will continue to let me abuse myself as they make EVERYTHING HERE FUTILE. They allow hubs that discredit me. Even if they are my own. But justice here on the hubpages is as nonexistent as it is in the courts of America. Nobody wants to open this can of worms of the US injustice system. Yet - if courts are not held to checks and balances - why should the lawyers who run our world and kill our children?

      I've stood my ground against evil. I know how I look to my God. I tried.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi Micky, brilliant comment, if you read the next hub I wrote, published today, you will see I start with the following:

      "Christians should have no part of government, I agree with that, I have not voted for nearly 30 years, but I do pray that God will give us a good government frequently over the same period.

      You see I truly do not want to be a part of this world, don't get me wrong, I love my family and want to enjoy time with them, I love sunsets and most all of what God has given us, but I hate the world for it is against God in the most part.

      But I do not seek to impose Christian values by force or ballot box on anyone, and would be much happier if we believers kept to preaching Christ and leave politics to those who politic."

      Like you I would wish that the vast amount of money spent on war would be spent instead on dealing with world hunger and child abuse.


    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      I agree a bit with wilderness. I see Christians supporting this neoConservative war machine - as many others do.

      I, and many others, see fascists using the church. WE see "Christians" (in parentheses because I'm not sure what the definition is) on the internet sending other Christians lists of NEO CONS to for.

      I see ENDLESS WAR. If "Christians" are to be taken seriously - they must admit that Jesus DID not RULE EARTH 2,000 years ago. Jesus DOES NOT RULE the Earth now. NEOs do. Neos own the war machine and NEOs dictate where the next war will be.

      I see lies told by NEOcons like there was little or no torture in Vietnam by American soldiers. How do you kill 3 million people without torture.

      What is WHITE PHOSPHOROUS? What is a beehive round? What were the screams I heard at Cam Lo in Vietnam?

      Christians MUST HAVE ACTION. These are my problems with the "church" and this is why many churches are failing. Jesus does not belong to a political party. ENDLESS WAR goes against THE CHRIST.


      I see true patriots attacked as Christians rubberneck and avoid controversy. Christians are comfortable. Christians are comfortable with NEOs. The NEOs will come for the Christians too. They don't believe in God. Churches fail because Christians DO NOT STAND. They sit.

      I will follow the benevolent God without a moniker of "party". I will stand - without Christians if necessary - against the lies that keep us in perpetual war. These wars kill and MAIM FOR LIFE American children and children all over the world.

      I don't want to be "sweet". I don't want cordiality while CHILDREN AND THE WORLD'S FUTURE are continuously tossed into WALL STREET WARS.

      I see kitchens in churches. I see buses taking children to church, passing cyclists, with every visible child giving the "bird". I see GRAND churches and they get colder with every coat of paint.

      I see ENDLESS WAR.

      I see Christians sitting on their pews.


      If I see a church that is dedicated against ENDLESS WAR - I'll join up. I will fall on my knees in that church as I do on quiet country paths less traveled.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Planksandand nails;0)

      great input!!! ..great to see you in on this one!!!!

      Mike :0)

    • PlanksandNails profile image


      9 years ago


      There are some good points here,

      ("Eventually the 'body' decide they need a 'pastor' and 'select' someone who they believe has been anointed by God to guide them.")

      This is where the "hallelujah" train derails. When people rely on their pastor and/or the board to guide them in life, it is equivalent to being a marionette.

      As a follower of Jesus Christ, I find the corporate atmosphere of the church superficial and full of predictable ritual. The pastor has to put on his "plastic fantastic" smile and go through the motions to appease the masses into a glossy eyed frenzy. Just look into his eyes and they will tell you a different story.

      We are forced into buying into the "plastic" wares and latest fads of the "flea market" atmosphere.

      The corporate, monetary church is a ravenous beast that has an insatiable hunger which can never be satisfied. Think of the offering container as a throat and you will get the picture.

      The answer is simple,

      The reason the church fails is because man puts four walls around the real church, and then call the walls church.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      9 years ago from Templeton, CA

      What a fantastic hub! I have always opted for small churches when possible, and a lot of my Christian growth took place when I was active in dorm Bible studies at UCLA that were student led. The idea was to have one on every floor. The next year, two of the brothers moved to a new dorm to begin the work there.

      I just wrote a sort of obituary for a small church I was active in for nine years before I moved from the area. This church played a large role in my life, but it was primarily one part of the church that met together often that played that role. The church was so small no one could really just be a spectator on Sunday mornings, so we all worked with others and most knew each other pretty well. Now that the church is officially gone, we are hoping to see Bible Studies for those who have not yet found other church homes, or those who have not yet professed faith in Christ. Most of these people who attended the church still have relationship connections with some of the others they knew there, and the Internet has made it possible to keep better contact with them.

      As to church splits, those that are planned are good,if they are rightly motivated. In my present church we almost had one that was disguised as planting a new church when the elders and pastor could not longer work together. So the elders who wanted to leave for that reason were going to take the part of the congregation that lived in the other town and plant a new church there. This idea died when it was decided that the pastor should be removed instead. Later, that pastor took his most loyal followers to start a new church. (Rather, they left, founded a new church under another denomination, and then called him. ) That church lasted a few years and then it had its own problems. In both cases, the split was caused by relationship problems that weren't solved -- a wrong motivation for a church split. Unresolved relationship problems are not a good foundation for starting a new church. It's a bit like divorce and remarriage. The unsolved problems that caused the first divorce can recur in the next marriage. If everyone know from the get-go that the idea was to grow the church to optimal size and then expect to split, sending a core group off to plant a new church, the split would be a sign of success, not failure.

      Thanks for writing this.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      samsons1, thanks, I agree totally!

      mikeq107, and thank you, and again I agree totally, let's shake our own 1% out of the tree and into reality.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Guys truly listen with your heart and spirit to what John Is saying....Its all about a realtionship with one man and one man only and as long as he is our focus and not size of body strenght..that realtionship has no limits not bound by walls or governing bodies...Look deep inside go beyond your own thinking do not lean on your own reason...remember he came not just to save us...but to set us free in our minds so that we acn be bold ,dangerous, run wild in him..ok going on..but because Im so passion about him..Have a great day guys and question every thing..ask you friend and pesronal counccilor the holy spirit to bring the truth to will be suprised..its safe not to venture out..remember Paul..went out starving and alone..while the church like today argued and over trival matters...times have not man died for all...some men try to control all..but Paul listened to the holy spirit..not the voice of reason!!!

      Later Mike :0)

      ps no spell check lol

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Oh Dave, I get your point, but I have seen the enemy divide congregations easier than small groups, and if you saw an earlier comment reply I made I state:

      "Big churches are good to go to, and personally if I had a collection of small groups fellowshipping around my area, I would suggest we meet together once a month or so, to share fellowship and enjoy each others company over a faith meal, but small is beautiful, and seems to line up with what Christ and the apostles formed."

      Also, remember that we have no need to meet with one particular group ALL the time, I once suggested that our church send 10% of it's members to visit other churches each week as a way of promoting unity and exposing our body to a wider experience of how the body works.

      Needless to say it was refused as an idea, too afraid of losing their flock I guess, but should I ever help birth another body of believers, or pastor one, then I would instigate it from day one, because if one of my fellow believers felt more suited to another church body, I would want them to move to where they fitted in and could grow.

      The old saying is: If you love them let them go, if they love you they will come back."

      When we are afraid of losing what God gave us, to another group that God has permitted to form, we show distrust in God and start the rot that ends in Pharisaism.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      9 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      John dear brother: I know what you are saying her and it makes so much sense, except for one thing. Divide and conquer is a special technique applied by Lucifer in order to destroy Christ's Church.

      These two sayings are not taught in the Bible but they do make a lot of sense even when applied to Christianity and Fellowship with others in a church.

      "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

      "The enemy of my enemy, is my friend."

      If you think about these sayings, I believe you will get my point.

    • samsons1 profile image


      9 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up and interesting! I agree that the churches "we build" will and are failing, but Christianity will not fail. The gospel is strong and centered upon Jesus who can never fail, but as churches grow some in leadership become overcome with pride and all "they" (themselves) have done and can do to help Jesus out a little, leaving Christ out of the picture. When this happens, churches fail...

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      AlMonsees, how about doing a hub review on that book, and don't forget to put a link into it!

      I will seek it out.


    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      CMerritt I have never seen the sense in buying buildings that we intend to leave for the world to find unoccupied and abandoned when we go, if we go!

      Neither have I seen the sense in making it easy for the AntiChrist forces to round up the congregations because they know where we will all be on Sunday morning (except the Adventists and the Messianics, who meet Friday or Saturday).

      Thanks for the comment.... (thinks) 'maybe these mega church owners don't expect to be going anywhere?'....

    • AlMonsees profile image


      9 years ago

      A good book on this subject is Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna. The title makes most shy away, but it is discusses the roots of the practices in churches. It discusses everything from the building, sermons, dressing up, singing, to the Lord's Supper.

      At the end it talks about what they call an organic church, which resembles something closer to a bible study group as closer to what was original meant for the church in the new testament.

      It's an interesting read to see where all the parts of the church have slipped in from other sources over the years until we couldn't imagine not having them as a part of the church.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Very well said, and I could not agree more with you.

      I think in a small church you are able to be accountable to one another.

      I think the Country Club atmosphere created by so many churches today are the reason why I think Christianity can and will fail. Spending millions on audio/video systems and recreation centers, in my opinion are not being good stewards of Gods money....just my view.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi ronhi,

      I have been in congregations and small groups, the only scripture that covers it is 'wherever two or three are gathered together in my name' and 'do not stop fellowshipping with each other'

      Both of those are covered in small group worship and fellowshipping, and a small group will bring new believers on quicker, as they will be meeting with serious prayer folk and getting personal attention.

      Big churches are good to go to, and personally if I had a collection of small groups fellowshipping around my area, I would suggest we meet together once a month or so, to share fellowship and enjoy each others company over a faith meal, but small is beautiful, and seems to line up with what Christ and the apostles formed.

      Another advantage of small is lower overheads and everybody needing to rely upon and trust God for their provisioning, plus we seem to be more willing and able to assist each other when it's 'family' so to speak.

      Thanks for the comment, no worries, God is wherever you are in worship.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      "Only very small groups, getting together for worship and forsaking all forms of monetary contribution can endure without seeing this elite group growing and overcoming the church."

      Which is precisely my point, keep it small and when it gets to a size that requires a building to meet in, split the group and send some off to start a new group, then repeat as required.

      Church 'splits' are what most leadership fears, when in fact it's what we should be encouraging.

      God always provides to those who are His and TRUST Him.

      Unfortunately when things get organised, leaderships normally start relying on the congregations tithes, rather than God.

      "I also find your insistence that the believers must spread their concept of morality and ethics to the general population extremely distasteful and immoral in and of itself, but that is a subject for another day."

      Spreading morality is distasteful? and in itself immoral?

      For a start we are told that we must spread the 'good news', so any believer who desists from doing that is out of relationship anyway.

      Secondly, ALL people try to spread their concept of morality and ethics to the general population, especially atheists, who deny God and His morality.

      That is their right and despite my opposition to their methods of disrupting believers fellowship with inane comments and other things designed purely to silence our right to talk about Christianity, it is their right to be obstructive.

      In the event their inanity normally focuses attention on Christ anyway, as He is their main object of derision, and any intelligent person will realise that atheists first 'doth protesteth too much' and secondly show themselves to be obsessed with Christ and the fear of hell.

      I know few believers who have come to faith purely in the hope of escaping retribution in eternity, and where this has been the case, once they settle into trusting God, they lose their fear and gain their freedom from fear.

      As I have often repeated, when I was a secularist, God had NO MEANING to me whatsoever and 'God botherers' were not an issue, I just ignored them and walked away.

      It was never an issue that I felt needed my attention, God did not exist for me at that time and so it was irrelevant what other thought.

      Why are secularists so obsessed with God when they demand that He does not exist?

      BTW I hope you see why I scrapped the comment and made it a hub!

    • ronhi profile image


      9 years ago from Kenya

      You know, i recently read a book in a public library(and now i have forgotten the title...) that talked about a new movement called home fellowship that will eventually replace the church. The author said that is how it was right from the book of Acts... While its true that the small cells are the best way for Christians to grow, its also important to maintain the congregational worship. So much can be achieved in numbers- especially as far as the great commission is concerned. Thanks for sharing this great info with us.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      9 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I have to disagree with your basic premise that smaller groups can get along without seeing the degradation of the elite. As soon as buildings are purchased or charity work begins to happen there will come into existence a "ruling" class in the church and the evils of power and money raise their heads.

      The pastor is always right in deciding doctrine and ordinary members don't have much say. He also is likely to handle all the money (including his own salary) and that adds to the problem. The elders must maintain their own power hold on the membership as must the event planners. It is never ending.

      Only very small groups, getting together for worship and forsaking all forms of monetary contribution can endure without seeing this elite group growing and overcoming the church.

      I also find your insistence that the believers must spread their concept of morality and ethics to the general population extremely distasteful and immoral in and of itself, but that is a subject for another day.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      9 years ago from trailer in the country

      Very true and thought provoking.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Used to belong to a cell church In London England..loved it today about 70000 and still small groups..with real realationships....been in this country 23 years and sad to say not impressed...god made us because he wanted fellowship and not clubs...great write!!! voted up!!!

      In Jesus Mike :0))


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