After twenty-five plus years as an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, my wife and I walked out the doors of our local church in 2008 to never return.
I had attended Bible College, intended to enter full-time ministry but something was missing from contemporary church life in comparison to what I had read and studied in the Gospels and Acts.
I started researching into the Organic House Church movement that was growing in this country. I started reading many of the Authors you mention above. I would include Wayne Jacobsen and Frank Viola.
My family and I, started gathering with others who were involved in house churches.
In 2009, we started having gatherings in our own home. It was quite a journey and an adventure.
The gatherings slowly dwindled around 2013.
My wife and I are not part of a traditional church or house community at this time. From our experience, we have learned that one’s faith can thrive even when not associated with an organized institutional church.
FEAR and MANIPULATION are used by many to keep church members in line. They create an atmosphere in which people do not grow spiritually and are reliant on the leadership instead of on God.
My journey has taken me out of the mainstream of Christian theology and practice. I do not call myself a Christian any longer. I am a follower of Jesus and his teachings but reject what American Christianity has evolved into — a monstrosity that has closer allegiances to political parties and personalities than the Christ they claim to follow. They frame their doctrine around their political ideology rather than a serious consideration and reflection upon the teachings of Christ and his historical context.
You did a good job of laying out some practical steps for people who are considering the leap into the dark — very encouraging.