Berkland or "Gracepoint" as it is now called, is riddled with problems because it misunderstands loyalty to the church with loyalty to Christ. To Berkland (or whatever other names the leaders choose) there is no such thing as being a good Christian and serving Christ outside of Berkland. Love makes a local church communicate to someone leaving it that s/he will be missed and are invited to return. Humility makes it acknowledge that God may use the person elsewhere. But human ambition --right from the leaders themselves who are assurredly very human-- makes this church engage in orchestrated campains to make people who may be called to serve elsewhere guilty for "leaving the church". If you start going somewhere else after attending Berkland, expect to be greeted by former friends with, "Is everything OK with your spiritual life?" and "Are you still walking with the Lord?" This church policy creates unnecessarily trials for the even mature believers. In some cases, this policy actually dissuades someone (i.e., one who is suseceptible to artificial pressures over God's direction) to miss the true direction God has for his/her life. God uses plenty of other wonderful fellowships (i.e., Campus Crusade for Christ, Intervarsity, Navigators, etc.) to foster spiritual growth, some even to full time missions. The "there can be no other place to serve" approach does not make it more likely that deeds at Berkland will be truly inspired by the H.S. The more human ambition, the more retarded and dysfunctional. As with anything else in the life of a believer, Berkland, Gracepoint, or whatever other names the leaders choose, need to hold its members in an open hand, trusting God to reveal to the person where He wants them, contending for people with love and prayer. And making someone who is being led to serve somewhere else by God feel guilty for following the leading of the H.S. has to stop. This practice invites correction from the Lord himself. I pray any such correction will be merciful for the sake of those already heavily invested in this church.
I welcome comments.
Grace and Peace to you.