The Growth of Non Denominational Churches

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Thousand Hills, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    I know there was a thread earlier in the year about Churches dropping the Baptist name, and obviously I'm sure there's plenty of past threads about seeker sensitive churches. But, here is a recent article I'd like to throw out with some selected sections. http://www.tennessean.com/article/2...18/More+churchgoers+ditch+their+denominations

    Pete Wilson likes Baptists.In fact, he used to be one. But when he launched interdenominational Crosspoint Church 10 years ago, Wilson dropped his Baptist ties. He believes what Baptists believe, and he appreciates the mission work they do. He just doesn't see the personal benefit to being part of any denomination."It just seemed like a lot of meetings and a lot of talk," Wilson said. At the same time mainstream denominations lose thousands of members per year, churches such as Crosspoint are growing rapidly — 15 percent of all U.S. churches identified themselves as nondenominational this year, up from 5 percent a decade ago. A third dropped out of major denominations at some point.Their members are attracted by worship style, particular church missions or friends in the congregation.

    Stetzer points to what he calls the "Willowback phenomenon" as a cause. Thousands of churches now follow the methods of two super-size
    megachurches — Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Ill., and Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.Both stress contemporary music and sermons and services that make the unchurched feel at ease. Both downplay doctrines and denominational differences. As churches embraced those methods, ministers began teaming up with churches doing things the same way rather than churches in their home denominations.


    Faith Lutheran's pastor, the Rev. Rick Hoover, said doctrines matter, even if churches downplay them. The earliest Christians wrote creeds and theology that made their beliefs clear. On the table in front of Hoover sat copies of Lutheranism 101, a book published by the Missouri Synod, and the Book of Concord, a collection of Lutheran teaching."We were a church that wasn't afraid to write down what we believed," he said. Hoover said many churches have taught their members and their children that doctrines don't matter. He says that that's a mistake and that churches should be clear on what they believe and work only with churches that share those beliefs. "We are here because of doctrine," he said. "Not because of worship styles or friends. The doctrine matters."

    But he fears that affinity over methods has watered down what Christianity means. He said that many churches haven't passed on the faith of the past found in creeds and other church teachings."The issue for me is not giving in to the increasing secularization of the church, making the church a business and worship entertainment," he said. "It hollows out the faith in the name of giving us more adherents. But we are not sure what those adherents believe."Wilson sees at least one downside in the new affinity-based networks. They are fickle and can dissolve as quickly as they start, like un-friending someone on Facebook. "At the end of the day … I can just walk away," he said.

    Should the local church focus primarily on the saved or unsaved? Am I wrong to believe that the primary purpose of the local church for believers to come together and worship, edify one another, and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord? When in attendance, should the unsaved not be so convicted by the Holy Spirit working through the preaching of God's word that they either run away or fall to their knees?
     
  2. Salty

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    I believe the purpose of the church is to strength the believer. It should be the church members who are sharing salvation with their friends and neighbors - not just the pastor. This is one reason I cannot support those who drive 30,40,50+ miles to church, as they cannot normally have an impact of that local church.
    I have mentioned this before, but it does apply here. When in Germany, we had a couple attending our church from Hahn - about 50 miles away - as the crow flies. Yes, they were dedicated workers on Sunday am - but unable to attend Wed pm. A year later a new pastor came to Calvary Bap. Asked them why they drove so far. "Closest IFB to where we live" Pastor told them to start a Bible Study in Hahn. Short story - the new church grew to well over 100 folks!
     
  3. annsni

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    Yep - a church should be about Christ. They should preach the Word unapologetically and be feeding the flock - while preaching the Gospel as well. A believer in Christ should never tire of the Gospel. When we decide that the Gospel is offensive, we offend Christ and is that where we really want to be?
     
  4. Tater77

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    Here in the greater Knoxville TN area the non-denom Churches are kinda rare. But I know of quite a few of them, but the whole downplaying of doctrine and such, that I haven't seen. I listen to a preacher on the radio on the way to Church every Sunday from Grace Point I think, and he definitely does NOT downplay any doctrines.
     
  5. freeatlast

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    To answer your question the primary focus should be on the saved. it should be for equipping, strengthen, and maturing the saints of God. In doing this the church will grow as the Lord sees fit. Far too many churches today when they meet are trying to wrestle away from the Lord what He said he would do and that was He would build His church.
    Sadly today pastors focus on mostly the gospel in there sermons. Over and over every morning never getting to the meat of the word to mature the saints and what we have is churches full of dirty diapers and smelly saints.
    The gospel certainly can be given but on any given service the focus should be on training up those who are saved. In a marriage where children are born to focus on just having more children would be a serious flaw. The focus should be on training what you have and more will come by the lord. The same should be in the church.
    If you notice the early church and how they did it, that is how the Lord intended.
    But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
    And this was the result;
    And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
    People are leaving because they are not getting what they should so this false substitute they get in these seeker churches gives them false security.
    The church needs to return to training up the saints and the saints will bring in new sheep.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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  7. nodak

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    Yes, Jesus came for the sinners, not the saints.

    That isn't the issue.

    The issue is this: is church going to be about Him, or about us?

    It took me a while to "get it", but church should be about Him.

    Unless it glorifies Jesus Christ, it doesn't belong in a worship service.

    It isn't a time to teach me how to have a better life, manage my finances, or have a good time in the bedroom.

    It should focus on the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.

    And that is why we no longer go to the entertainment styled worship services.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    In Reformed doctrine, the whole of life, worship, & prayer is about Glorifying God & thats why when they say they don't hold to doctrine. I go someplace that does.
     
  9. nodak

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    Me too!!!!!
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Here is what I find amazing though. The Reformed churches.....the ones that are supposed to be teaching & preaching Orthodox Christianity have stopped doing that & are reverting to the liberal non doctrine approach to worship. They are committed to caving into the attendee who only want to spend an hour on Sunday & feel good.

    Next the Presbyterian USA guys & Baptist (pastors) are all leaving starting Charismatic Churches. Consequently (Got this info from a recent conversation with a Reformed Pastor) that the statistics in North Jersey towns indicate that only 2-3% of Registered Protestants go to Sunday & weekday service. Pretty pathetic huh.
     
  11. blackbird

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  12. freeatlast

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  13. blackbird

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  14. freeatlast

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    #14 freeatlast, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2011
  15. CF1

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    New Testament Times:

    [The Fellowship of the Believers]

    [42 ] And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43 ] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44 ] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45 ] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46 ] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47 ] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
    (Acts 2:42-47 ESV)
     
  16. Alive in Christ

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    I have in the past had some experience with non-denominational churches, and in all of them doctrine was taught just as much as the Baptist churches I have been part of. I really cant imagine a church not teaching doctrine, be it a denominational or nondenominational. I certainly have never been with ANY church that didint teach doctrine.

    I'm kind of confused, to be honest. What do you mean by teaching "doctrine"? Do you mean "denominational" doctrine, or "doctrine" in the sense of teaching the scriptures?

    I know that every time I have seen Joel Osteen on TV he doesnt teach doctrine. Its more of a motivational "pep talk".

    But I have always assumed that doctrine was being taught at his church, but it was being done in bible studies and small groups.

    Is Osteens (and others) "pep talks" what you are referring to?

    AiC
     
  17. BobinKy

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    I think small local churches are the best church model.

    I think denominations are the affliction and devastation of churches in the U.S.

    Doctrine--well, let's face it, most churches are trying to distinguish themselves from the church across the street. I think doctrine is good because we grow deeper in our faith when we worship and learn with like-minded folks. All of the talk about our doctrine is the best doctrine or the true doctrine is preaching to the choir. Go where you feel the Holy Spirit leads you. And sometimes that may not be inside a church.

    I also think pastors should not receive any pay for their position. [Now that's gonna be a popular one, Bob!]

    ...Bob
     
    #17 BobinKy, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011
  18. blackbird

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    I see from your profile that you are a retired businessman----suppose----just suppose----I were the owner of the company you worked for all those years and I came in on "Payday Friday" and said to you "I don't think BOB(thats you) should receive any pay for his(thats you) position!!!"

    How much longer would you be willing to work for me???

    I tell ya how long-----long enough for you to get home and then your wifey finds out you were told you should not receive any pay for your postion!!!!
     
  19. quantumfaith

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    Freeatlast:

    It is my conviction that the church should "multi-task". The church (us) are called to be light and salt to the world (community) in which we find ourselves. To simply "edify" the saints is not, in my opinion, the "only function", we should be evangelistic. Sharing the message of the gospel in as many and unique ways that we can without compromising its message and demands in any way.
     
  20. sag38

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    I think denominations are the affliction and devastation of churches in the U.S.

    And let's not forget air conditioned buildings with padded pews and heated baptisteries with non moving water.
     

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