Friday, April 06, 2007

Denomination: Dead or Alive

Since birth I have been associated with the Assemblies of God denomination of church life. My family were part of a the Cairnbulg AOG church. Once I had started to follow Jesus and knew I wanted to commit the whole of my life to His cause I left home to attend the national AOG Bible College, Mattersey Hall. On gradation I went to work in an AOG church, Milton Keynes Christian Centre. I now Pastor and lead the church with my friend and Senior Pastor, Mark Sherratt.

Unfortunately I never became an AOG minister. I had some difficulties with their statement of faith. I didn't really believe anything different to the majority of ministers and even some of the senior leadership but that did not matter. It was somehow OK to ignore the stated beliefs of existing ministers but a different matter for anyone wanting to join.

I've just spend a few days at their annual conference joining their business sessions as an observer. They were debating some changes which they felt that would bring the denomination into the 21st century and create a structure for the denomination to flourish in the future. It was interesting to listen to the debate and good points were made on both sides. In the end the conference voted for the change in constitution which in simplistic terms gave the leaders more power to lead. Which in the end I suppose is a good thing. You have got to give leaders the freedom to lead.

I was left still wondering its relevance to us as a church in Milton Keynes. (The views here are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of the whole of MKCC) It seems to me that denominations have to constantly try and prove their worth by creating departments and posts which they can point to and say what a great job we are doing.

The bare facts are that we are so busy trying to build local church here in MK that we have very little time to invest in a denomination. National initiatives just don't seem to connect with us or our people. Much of our mentoring and resource comes from other local churches such as Willow Creek, Saddleback, Hillsong and Abundant Life Church Bradford.

So I am left with the question I posed in my title. I suppose the answer is both. It remains alive to many local churches throughout the UK but it is also becoming more and more irrelevant to many.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Hi Billy,
I like you have been brought up in a AOG denomonational background.
As the years go by feel that denomonanationism has lost it's way in relaiting to most of the un-churched people of this world, Some churches are having to break away from the church format that we have copied from the last generation and now its clear that God is raising up men and women who are looking for creative ways of presenting the Gospel in a language and culture that people can understand.
Ps. Is that little man they call G.R still there in MK?

Post a Comment