I didn’t grow up Presbyterian, and neither have most of you. I haven’t been in the PCA (a statistically insignificant blip on the denominational screen) for that long really, and I continually find things about it that I appreciate. And other things that truly frustrate me. I suppose that is true for every denomination, or at least I’ve been trained to think so.
I spent a considerable amount of my formative Christian years in a parachurch ministry that seeks to make disciples and concentrate on the Bible through study and memorization. It taught me a ton of good things. It taught me a ton of good things. It taught me a ton of good things. Did I say “It taught me a ton of good things?” Yes. I did.
One of the unintended consequences, however, was that I developed a large distrust of groups, organizations, denominations and – well – the church. Conversely, I didn’t think that people could do much by themselves either. It seemed to me that things could be done best by teams. No, not done best. Done right.
Then I joined RUF and the PCA and had that ideal quickly challenged and slowly altered. I was immediately placed by myself on a campus, told that being ordained with the call of God is enough. No local team. I also found out that I had to meet with everyone in RUF twice a year, which seemed like an incredible waste of time to me.
The bigger jolt was this whole presbytery thing. Every three months we get together to worship, pray and administrate the wider church. I’m supposed to go and submit myself to its decisions. And to participate in its work.
Frankly, I was more than a little suspicious. I wouldn’t have done it this way. Read more