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Archive for February 5th, 2009

Why We Left

I left the Nazarene denomination after 24 years of being in active ministry. I served in several leadership positions within a large church.   (Formerly, I was a practicing Catholic for 27 yrs.)

In 2005, I began to see some changes being incrementally brought into my church  that began to concern me.   New phrases, and different words were being introduced into the everyday jargon.   

Sermons began to focus on community, community, community, and being on a journey with God instead of a walk with God.   We had a whole sermon series on The Foyer Environments (which came from an Andy Stanley sermon series).  Other sermons focused on the 5 (supposed) signs of a “healthy” church, by Rick Warren.   The new cry from the pulpit was…”Love God….Love People”.  Relationships with each other and with unbelievers was emphasized as being all important.  We needed to be relevant!

The Board structure was overhauled to include all staff and Board members, and as a result, the board became compromised as a result of the constant presence of the staff…..which, has turned the church into a staff led church.   We were then introduced to a method in which newcomers to the church would be taken through a “processing system”.   Okay….we now had a diaprax system in place for the board members, and visitors would now be looked upon as a unit to be processed into the church body.  We were certainly using  marketing philosophies sans the Holy Spirit.    

At the same time, I had 2 children enrolled in two separate Nazarene universities, and became concerned at some of the required reading, chapel speakers, and prayer techniques that were taking place on their campuses.

I also had 2 children enrolled in a secondary Chrisitan school….and a parent had alerted me to some strange teachings being presented at the high school.

Thus, began my crash course, and hours upon hours of research into the Market-Driven Seeker Movement,  also known as the Church Growth Movement, Emergent Church or Dominion Movement, and Spiritual Formation Movement.

Over the next weeks and months I will write on these things and how much entrenched I have found them in the Nazarene denomination.  After trying to share my concerns with many, many people in authority in the Nazarene church, I left after one year of getting no where.   I couldn’t justify putting my next 2 children through the Youth Program and certainly was no longer considering a Nazarene university education for them, nor do I recommend the universities to my peers as they begin to research colleges for their children.  Personally, we just couldn’t justify giving money to our church knowing that a portion would be sent to the seminary, and university assigned to our district. 

Though, my daughter and her husband remain an active part of a different Nazarene church, my spouse, who was very active, myself, and my other 3 children have left the denomination.   

 May God open the eyes of the leaders. 

More later…..

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