For some reason, this week I've heard from a number of people who are fed up with organized religions, church buildings, tithing, authoritarian pastors, and the whole charade that some churches have become. Some are okay with not going to church for a time, but would like to have some kind of teaching available to them. I wanted to be sure to mention a couple other safe options for church in non-traditional settings.
I've mentioned EChurch before. Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist in Enid, Oklahoma, teamed together with my blogger friends, Dee and Deb of Wartburg Watch blog and offer EChurch each Saturday. Associated Baptist Press did a nice write-up on EChurch below:
Keeping it simple was the whole idea behind EChurch, an online worship experience launched in March by two bloggers intent on reaching the unchurched.
“Worse than unchurched, it’s people who just won’t step foot in a church,” said Dee Parsons, co-founder of EChurch and The Wartburg Watch, a blog that tracks controversial Christian trends.
Parsons said she and blog partner Wanda Martin discerned from posted comments the need for an online spiritual community for those who feel alienated from church. Some cited pedophilia and financial scandals, or feeling ostracized for questioning religious dogma, behind their unwillingness to enter churches.
EChurch is not a live worship streaming event, but rather contains prayers, Christian music of varying styles and an embedded video of Burleson preaching at Emmanuel in Enid.
The format allows participants to watch when they can and then to comment on the experience. The back-and-forth between readers tells Parsons EChurch is providing much-needed fellowship for its participants.
“The seeker churches are getting the seekers,” she said. “These people are not seeking – they know what they believe, but they just don’t want to come to church.”
Burleson said he jumped at the invitation to have his sermons imbedded at EChurch because that demographic needs ministry. “It’s amazing,” he said. “I have people contact me who said EChurch is restoring a little trust in the church.”
The current EChurch "gathering" is here.
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|Ken and his wife, Sharon|
Another option that came to mind is my friend and pastor, Ken Garrett, who has audios of his sermons located here. Ken understands spiritual abuse as he and his family experienced it in their cult/church for 12 years, so he is especially sensitive to that topic when he preaches. Here is one of Ken's articles I featured here: Fingerprints of a False Teacher And here is Ken's blog: Downtown Pastor.