INDEPENDENCE IS GOOD; AFFILIATION IS BETTER!
Rev. Barbara L.J. Halliburton
According to the Webster’s Dictionary, the word independent is defined as “not dependent; not subject to control by others; self-governing.” Within the Body of Christ, there are many local assemblies that operate independently, as they are not part of a larger body that is governed by a group of people or set of guidelines.
As with every circumstance, there are pros and there are cons. Some pros to being independent include freedom from micro-management, reduced potential for legalistic rules & regulations and control of resources and assets. These pros are attractive in today’s religious world because through the years, churches and individuals have been snared by the trap of joining an organization for purposes of support only to find that the organization leaders were merely seeking to control them. For these reasons, independence is good.
The downside of operating independently is that true kingdom work and the ability to greatly impact communities and generations requires great resources, which in most cases cannot be found in one local assembly. We can all help each other as we walk on the same road toward the same goal, which is to fulfill the great commission given to us by Jesus Christ. For this reason alone, affiliation is better.
The wisdom of King Solomon tells us in Ecclesiates 4:9 that, “Two are better than one; because they
have a good reward for their labour.” Essentially, this biblical truth tells us that if we support one another with our individual resources, we can accomplish more. Independents Fellowship International was founded in this same spirit. It provides an avenue for many to come together and support one another as we all strive for the same goal of building the Kingdom of God.
We are at a critical time in the history of this world and our nation. One generation that was for the most part, lost and left behind by “religion” is now producing offspring and becoming responsible for shaping the minds of the next generation. Without spiritual direction and the truth of God’s Word, the youngest generation is destined to be lost as well, continuing the ugly cycle.
It is time for true believers to follow the model that was set forth in the Word and modeled by Jesus Christ himself, when He sent disciples into the world two by two to reach the lost. We must stop trying to make a name for ourselves as the island that stands alone, but we must join with those who are of like mind and like spirit, to make a difference to the glory of God. Independence is good, but affiliation is better.