Welcome to this week’s craft post. Sorry for a late entry, I am trying to get used to my working schedule. Boy does time fly when you start doing something new. Before I knew it was Friday and Saturday and I was sitting at work yesterday realizing, damn I still haven’t posted this week’s craft post. Sorry, again for the late entry and I know this coming week is going to be hell. More on that at the end.

For any new readers or old readers who haven’t read in a while, we have been going through a massive Worldbuilding series. All the entries thus far can be found under the link in the toolbar called Worldbuilding. We currently are going through a sub-series on religion, all those posts can be found here. This week is the second to the last entry in this sub-series. Next weeks will be the last before the wrap-up. Today’s post is on Religious Structure and how you can structure the religions in your world. Let’s dive in.

You may be asking yourself what do I mean when I say religious structure? Good question, because that could mean different things. What I mean, is Religious Leadership Structure, and how the leaders of your created religions work. Another way to look at this is how does the government of your religion look like? Let’s look at some religious structures. We are going to compare Protestant Christian Churches to the Catholic Church.

Roman Catholic Christian Protestant
Pope Elders Board
Cardinal Senior Pastor
Archbishop Pastor Staff
Bishop Departments (Youth, Children, Women, Music, Outreach, etc.)
Priest Adminastration Staff
Deacon

There is a huge difference between these structures. For the Roman Catholic is a very top-down leadership. The Pope has final say on everything and as far as I know he can’t be removed from power until he willing gives it up or dies. There are laws in place to remove Bishops who become so old that dementia has set in and possibly could be used to remove the Pope if that happened, but that has never happened. Compare this to the Christian Protestant churches they have a board at the top. Before I go any further this is based not on any churches like Methodists who have a structure closer to that of the Catholics. Christian Protestant is what individual churches would use for their systems such as Baptists, Non-Denominationalist, or Charismatic.

While the Senior Pastor is the head of the church, most churches these days have some kind of board of elders who are members of the church who were elected by other members to oversee the church. This is the case for as the Pastor is usually an elder himself but can be removed from his position by the elder board. Pastors come and go and so the Elders represent the people who are there always. After the Senior Pastor is the Pastoral Staff, depending on the church size may consist of volunteers or paid staff. The Pastoral staff is broken up into departments such as Youth (teens), children, college, women’s, outreach, etc. After that church administration such as church secretary, maybe marketing person or production head if they record services.

The Catholic Church leaderships is broken up by regions, and while you may have more than one priest in a large church, there is usually one head priest and the other priests serve as leaders of other areas. Everyone in the Catholic church knows their place in the hierarchy.

Now, this is just two religions in our own world.  There are many others who don’t have s structure like this. Islam has no organized church because they don’t believe in separation of religion and state. The leader of the nation is seen also as the leader of the religion.

The question you need to asks is how do you want your religion to look like. Do you want to have a large structure system like Catholics, who reaches around the world? Or one more like each house of worship is set up more like Protestants churches where they have similar structures but depending the size remove parts. Or have the leader of the religion as the ruler of the tribe or country? How about having just a council which, the control the religion and the members each have a role, but neither are more important or hold more power than the other?

The reason for structure or lack of structure in religion is, whoever is at the top makes decisions for the religion. They will determine rituals, which we will cover next week. The High Priest will interpret the sacred writings of the religion, deciding on the doctrine of the religion. Witch Doctor may be even writing those sacred texts as they commune with the god(s).

When you have your structure, you need to then define the roles of each position that you created. Can they be the same thing but just on a lesser scale? Sure, but you need to explain why that is. For some of the roles, you may think about beyond just leadership is outreach. Does your religion have heralds or prophets or event missionaries they send out to get converts? What about monks, who study and write? Instead of copying positions from religions from our world you make up your own. What if there is a position that who sole job is to go commune with trees? Sounds stupid? Not if the trees in your world have an essence or have magic powers who give this person that power to come back so the Pope can do a ritual. What your religion looks like is completely up to you.

I think the best way to start is to start with religions today, structure it after one and change something and see where that leads you. How does that change the model you are using? When you have reach an end point go back to the model change something else. Keep doing this until you don’t need to use the model anymore or until you are done. Eventually, you will have to go back to the beginnings of your religion model and make changes so those small changes work.

That’s all I got today. I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Next weeks will be focus on the Rituals of Religions. With my work week that is coming up, there would be a good chance that next’s weeks post is never posted at all. Don’t worry, I am going to write it tomorrow and set it up so it auto posts on Friday. Hopefully, after this week my schedule will become more normal and I will be able to get these posts out on Friday. Please check back tomrrow for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up.

iSight-2016-03-28-03-57

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