Toward that end, my wife, the Mighty Mrs. J, and I left a somewhat traditional church ministry that I started a few years ago. We felt like we were spinning our wheels, doing what we were expected to do. But we want more than that! So we've started looking for other like-minded people who are searching for a real, first-hand faith experience. What do I mean by first-hand? A few things:
- I am responsible for my relationship with God. Just like I'm responsible for how the Mighty Mrs. J and I relate. It's not up to a minister, a worship leader, an author, or any self-proclaimed guru to make sure I'm growing more like Jesus.
- I believe that God is working in my life, and the lives of the people around me. There was a popular book several years ago that invited Christians to find out where God is working, and join Him in His work. I want to find out where God is working around me.
- The goal of the Christian life is to develop such a close relationship with God that I become more and more like Jesus. The goal isn't increased knowledge, or a theological degree, or a place of honor in a church group.
- The best way to study God's word is to read it myself. I don't need someone else to read it to me and tell me what it means.
- The best way to apply God's word to my life is as part of a group of people who are serious about digging into the Bible as a group. People who personally interact with the Bible are more likely to make Bible truths part of their lives.
- The way the traditional church is structured leads to a passive, second-hand faith. It's my personal opinion traditional church is often a hindrance to people who seek an authentic faith. Look at a typical church service: a worship leader chooses what you will sing, a preacher reads the Bible for you and tells you what it means. Everything is done for you.