Sounds a bit like a thriller about the mob!
As soon as we gather as more than one person, we must organize. To see each other, to enjoy entertainment, to worship, to play sports, to do anything. Any group of people becomes an organization. The more people, the greater the organization.
To distinguish the various stages of organization, we say things like “we are a movement”, “we have become fossilized”, and even, “our needs base is greater than our resource base.”
Now, in both anthropology and other disciplines, we find that the least organization provides opportunity for the best per capita resourcing, the greatest amount of spare time and even the exercise of greater freedom.
A generation which watched the organization of the church take on phenomenal growth, also became disillusioned with the excesses of rules and the subsequent lack of creativity. Centralizing does provide some efficiencies, but tends to create a standardization that stifles instead of encourages local initiatives and culture.
The fight of megachurch versus small group/church will grow greater as real estate prices increase, and as the celebrity culture confronts those who desire authenticity instead of sculpted images.
Those who have soured on organized religion tend to feature the lack of connection, the misapplication of rules, and the need for closeness and support of a small group. This is not just a millennial generation focus – this reaches from young to old.
I accept that my religion, outside of my private devotion, will be organized religion. Nevertheless, unorganized and sometimes disorganized connections with others in the church and community are enjoyed and encouraged.
After serving in a church of over 500 people, a transition to this more flexible organization was difficult for me. After moving to a small town and spending more than a decade in this type of setting, I still love organized activities, but I am more and more inclined to return to the very simple approach. Love your neighbour, hang out with them, and bring God into their lives simply and authentically. Love God through Jesus Christ, and enjoy life!