It was easy to speak boldly that my ministry was all about faithfulness to God and His Word. But when humility gave birth to brutal honesty, I freely began to admit that there was undoubtedly this constant undercurrent of concern about my future. If someone else in leadership began to be at odds with me, it could go sour and I could end up looking for another church. If a long-standing and prominent congregant took issue with me, they had the power to influence others against me, and I could end up looking for another church. At almost every point in pastoring, I constantly stood a chance of losing something.
Reminiscing about this brought me to an important reality followed by an important question. The reality is this: people crave religious systems. The question is obvious: why?
Fear drives this inward compulsion to conform. You are afraid of not belonging any longer. So you behave the way you need to in order to stay with the group. When this translates into churchianity, you come to believe that staying with your local church is tantamount to staying with God. And to not conform to the church is to be marginalized or expelled by both church and God.