Jason Clark has a great post up at Deep Church that challenges the notion that we can avoid institutions in the church… he doesn't deny the problems and inertia that institutions create, but also argues that to simply throw out any form of institution would be the same kind of action as closing all hospitals (because hospitals struggle with the same institutional problems churches do)… here's a quote:
What we need is not the absence of institutions, but an articulate
institutional imagination, something more than the incapacity of being
‘anti-institutional’. For if we get rid of hospitals, we might remove
the problems they produce as institutions, but with it we also remove
the provision of medical care from all those who had access to it
before, or we restrict it to only a few who are in proximity to those
who can provide it with no institutional support, or those who know how
to provide to themselves. Which is what much of the ‘institution-less’
church has come to look like.
The question is not whether you can avoid being an institution; the
question is what kind of institution can we imagine that will support
the purposes of who and what we are trying to bring to others?
Jason's whole post is not long, and worth a read.