Church Planting Lesson #3 – the sin of autonomy


I probably would have been too prideful to admit this the first year we planted.  The truth is, we live in largely a reactionary culture, or at least we live like we do.  We make many of our decision not because we have determined them as right, biblical, or wise, rather, because they fit what we have already determined is right.  We make decision to avoid bad experiences, little agreements to avoid having a bad relationship again, or any number of other choices to avoid feelings or failures.  All the while, our decision to avoid pain and pursue pleasure, may in fact lead us away from the truth.

When we first planted the church, we were certain what we didn’t want to be, even if we said different.  Though we had our core values, mission statements, and all that, they were all reactionary in nature.  Of course, I could tallk for hours about our “vision” but when all was said and done, we were going to “do it differently.”  Everything was on the table and nothing was “sacred”.  We justified our independence from institution, denomination, and organization by the fact that the Bible teaches churches are autonomous.  And though I don’t complete disagree with the spirit of that thought, I know now we were guilty of the sin of autonomy.  The sin of autonomy means you separate yourself from history, from authority, from the experiences of those men who have gone before them and assume you know it all OR can figure it out.  Though I believe God graciously protected us from a lot of mistakes we could have made, we were foolish, prideful, and wrong . I guess that is why we find ourselves preaching a five-part series now called SACRED ASSEMBLY…because there are things that are sacred.


Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

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