Ed Stetzer is following up on his own posts and research with this post on ‘do denominations matter to pastors?’ His informal tweet concluded that 76% of pastors believe they do.
Given all that, call me a cautious believer in the idea that we can do more for the kingdom of God by doing it together with people of common conviction–which usually means in a denomination–than by doing it alone.
There’s a problem with this statement.
Combining with like minded communities or organizations is not exclusively correlated with a denomination. [I’m not suggesting this was Stetzer’s conclusion FYI.]
It can be connected, but if the conclusion is partnerships for a kingdom purpose primarily happens in a denomination then you simply aren’t looking.
Looking within denominations for partnerships works, but what’s even greater is when you stop limiting your partnerships to denominational boundaries.
Go ask any missionary in the field how they regard partners. There you will witness firsthand Kingdom purpose that knows no denominational bounds–for them it is a factual matter of survival.
The receding cultural influence of denominations should only highlight the necessity to stretch BEYOND. After all, if we’re truly interested in Kingdom purpose church theology shouldn’t be a governing factor on who we partner with.
I wholly echo the necessity to partner with someone, it could be a denomination, but in my experience denominations are far more limiting locally than they are innovative. [In my post-Christendom context, not a middle class conservative suburban context.]
That’s not a reason to ‘strike out on your own’, however, as the lone ranger church planter will never succeed, ever.