Most congregations are part of a formal faith structure that adheres to certain commonly held doctrines and sacraments. These congregations are managed centrally and they do not make policy decisions regarding doctrine independently. Independent churches such as those commonly found in Denver CO do not belong to a larger formal religious organization. Each congregation stands on its own feet and decides on matters of doctrine for themselves. They do not report to any religious authorities either.
Observers have noted the phenomenal growth of independent congregations. There are many reasons for this trend. One of the main reasons is that so many Christians are of the opinion that the traditional churches have failed to adapt to modern life. They feel that many policies and doctrines are outmoded and they find the formal denominations unable and even unwilling to change. They want to be an integral part of the congregation.
Many other people feel that the formal denominations are too judgmental in their attitude to some of their members. In some churches divorce, for example, is seen as a hideous sin. In many churches gays are condemned as decadent sinners that must repent and change their ways. These types of people feel more comfortable in an environment where they do not feel persecuted. People want to feel loved and accepted as part of the congregation.
Religious experts say that Christians should beware of independent congregations that do not have a formal background of research and study. They say that many of these churches offer their congregations nothing but a shallow message of love, eternal live and peace on earth while the Bible addresses many other issues that may not be palatable but that is nevertheless part of the Christian faith.
It is also an unfortunate fact that some congregations are founded simply to serve as a power base for the pastor. History has shown that sects can be dangerous and that people easily fall into the trap where they believe that the teachings of the pastor must be correct. Christians are well advised to avoid churches that preach practices and doctrines that utterly contradict everything they have ever believed.
Many Christians want to move to a place of worship where they will feel more welcome and comfortable. Because it is such a personal issue, it is probably better to investigate a few congregations before making any decisions. By attending services at several congregations it may be possible to gauge the focus and doctrine of the congregation. Talking to existing members can also be valuable.
One of the reasons why independent churches are growing so quickly is that there is an international movement towards increased spirituality. Christians want to be part of this movement but they want to do so within the context of their faith. They want to worship according to the Bible.