The institutionalization of the Lord’s church, and of various ministries and Christian organizations, continues. Once an organization or group reaches a certain mass, it will tend toward institutionalization. I don’t think this happens at the same mass for every example, and it will likely vary, depending on a lot of different factors. However, once it begins to be institutionalized, it’s mission will be changed from what it was originally, to self-perpetuation. At this moment, if not before, it will also begin to calcify and lose it’s flexibility. It will respond in a natural way to threats, to silence or marginalize them, and also remove dissenting voices from it’s midst. This is often done with the proclamation that the group is more important than the individual, which has an element of truth, but is the wrong comparison. In Christ, we should be following Christ, not the group, or the individual. Systematically, Christ Jesus and His leadership fade into the background, and the original mission becomes the focus of marketing efforts, though it has likely been supplanted by a motive that the “organization” must continue. This is one of the reasons why the institutions of man are temporary, but what God does lasts forever.
More thoughts on this later….