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Missions Denominations and Honest Questions

Written by Ed Stetzer Feed on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

What role do denominations play in the work of the local church and the broader mission of God?

One of the great, untapped resources in nearly every denomination is younger leaders and pastors. They are part of every denominational family, yet sometimes that inclusion is tenuous. Denominations are often seen a bureaucratic, inefficient, and unengaged. Yet, those same pastors are often seeing God do great things through church plants, revitalizations, and faithful ministry in various other places.

They aren’t simply doing what everyone has been doing and following some denominational pathway for success. They are blazing new trails and heading in new directions.

That makes for tension in denominations.

How Denominations Fit

One of the struggles of younger leaders in denominational life is determining the place of the denomination in the life of their church and the mission. As they embrace what’s next while retaining faithfulness to biblical foundations in the denomination, they often see the denomination emphasizing the old ways, the ways “we’ve always done it.”

These young leaders are rightly concerned. So am I.

A right orientation to the denomination is key. I’m a believer in denominations as long as denominations are the tool and not the goal. Some in the past and present make the denomination the goal, which drives concern and confuses the mission.

The truth is that if denominations didn’t exist we’d have to invent them (or some alternative to them) to accomplish what God told us to do. We can't do the Great Commission alone.

I believe denominations (and other such partnerships) are that important. We just can’t do what is necessary otherwise.

I once saw a church that had a sign as big as the building that said “World Outreach ...

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