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In both cases, opposition is based on the belief that support of institutions and non-church activities are not proper functions of the local congregation.
Approximately 2,055 congregations fall in this category.
Regarding church practices, worship, and doctrine, there is great liberty from congregation to congregation in interpreting what is biblically permissible, as congregations are not controlled by a denominational hierarchy.For the Churches of Christ, practices not present in accounts of New Testament worship were not permissible in the church.In contrast, the Christian Church may consider any practice not expressly forbidden.Rather, the independent congregations are a network with each congregation participating at its own discretion in various means of service and fellowship with other congregations (see Sponsoring church (Churches of Christ)).Congregations which do not participate with other church congregations and which refuse to pool resources in order to support outside causes (such as mission work, orphan homes, Bible colleges, etc.) are sometimes called "non-institutional." Congregations are generally overseen by a plurality of elders who are sometimes assisted in the administration of various works by deacons.