6:3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
It's popular today even among Christians to bash organized religion and essentially "fly solo". The only problem with that point of view is that it isn't Biblical which in the end means you are not a follower of Jesus but rather a follower of your own ideas.
Don't misunderstand me. Organized religion is far from perfect. Much of it is downright demonic. However the misuse or abuse of something does not negate the genuine. I don't see everyone becoming celibate because sex is often abused.
Think about this. Subway has franchises everywhere. So do countless other businesses. I can go to Subway anywhere and know exactly what I'm going to be able to get before I ever enter the building. Here in Grande Prairie alone there are probably ten Subway stores. Why? Because Subway is organized. It is structured for self replicating growth.
See the only alternative for organized religion is disorganized religion and if you think organized religion has some issues (it does), disorganized religion is far worse. Disorganized religion has no structure, no accountability, and is fertile ground for cults and events like Waco and the Jim Jones massacre.
However that is by far not the real tragedy of disorganized religion.
Let's come back to Subway. It's a sandwich shop. If the original creators of the concept were disorganized it's likely their store would have remained the only one. You and I would never have heard of them and when we were in a hurry and seeking a healthy meal, Subway would not have been an option.
Are you seeing it now? Disorganized religion prevents even the possibility of growth. It is selfish and self serving and treats belief in Jesus as something for me and cares little if you ever find out about Him.
It was Jesus who organized the twelve and later seventy and sent them out to heal and preach in pairs. Organization facilitates growth. It develops leadership. It multiplies talents and abilities. It doesn't matter if you can make a delicious sandwich. That's really the easy part. Getting organized and structured to make that delicious sandwich available to millions and millions of people is what transforms a simple meal into a money making franchise. Structure and growth are not enemies.
One of the things I love about my church is that when I give money most of it does not stay in my local church. It literally gets spread around the world. Organization and structure is a powerful force both for good and for evil. That's why in wars the first thing that gets attacked are communications. Knock out your enemies ability to communicate and suddenly they become disorganized and much easier to defeat.
As the early followers of Jesus rapidly grew in numbers, structure and organization became a necessary component and the result of organizing well was increased growth.
If you are against organized religion you need to seriously consider the reality that you are against the very teachings of the One you claim to follow.