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Last night we met with some friends, a couple who used to be on my leadership team and who had also left the church. When we were in their living room last night, I was flooded with nostalgia.

We used to have leadership meetings there. I remember the camaraderie, the sense of purpose and mission, the prophetic words, the tears and laughter and discussions. Some members of TLS were there. Remember guys?

But I also remember the desperate need for authentication that we felt. I was learning to embark on my own spiritual path and endeavored to encourage the leaders and members to do the same. But we were immersed in a church culture that really required endorsement from our overseers, the leaders of the Vineyard movement, prophets and other spiritual authorities. I so needed to know that we were okay.

But as we drifted further away from the norm and deeper into our own wilderness, the endorsements thinned out until we actually got rejected. Then, when I personally pressed further away from the norm and deeper into my own wilderness, it came to the point where I felt it was further than my church was willing to go. I had to continue. So I had to leave the church behind.

Yesterday’s lapletter (if you didn’t get it, check your spam box or “promotions” tab in gmail, etc.) talked about having a tent rather than a temple. This means that you carry your spirituality with you. You are your own authority. I believe this is the hardest lesson to learn and live by. You are okay. In fact, you are already perfect. Recognizing that and living accordingly is the toughest but best lesson you can learn.