Monday, September 24, 2007
Julie on Community Churches
Julie has a new article up on Theolog, the official blog of the Christian Century magazine. It's on "Community" Churches.
posted by Mike Clawson at 8:35 PM | Permalink |


At 9/25/2007 09:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

Sorry for the anonymous post - I can't get my screen name to work for some reason. I put my name below to identify myself.

In response to Julie's article, isn't Via Christus part of the Churches of God, General Conference? When people ask you as the pastoral couple what denomination you are a part of, do you tell them that you are a CGGC congregation?

-Rev. George Jensen
Enola First Church of God,
(A CGGC Congregation in Pennsylvania).


At 9/25/2007 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Hey George,

We've found that denominational labels are pretty much meaningless to the average person these days. Most people would have no idea what a CGGC church is or what it means, and in their mind a denominational label like that simply means that they're not welcome unless they are already a part of that group. (E.g. if you grew up Catholic you go to the Catholic church, if you grew up Lutheran you go the the Lutheran one, etc.) So when most people ask we just tell them that we're non-denominational, and then we explain that that means everyone is welcome, you don't have to be anything in particular (Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc...) to come and worship with us.

If they really want to know, i.e. if they pursue the question beyond just "what kind of church are you?", then we will also tell them that we partner with other groups of churches for ministry support and accountability. That's when we mention the CGGC. But even then we use the term "partner" rather than "denomination" because frankly "denomination" is a big, obscure, meaningless word to most people except pastors and theologians (I don't know if I've ever had an average non-churchy person actually use the word "denomination" when asking). Given that, we prefer to just describe what it means for us to be part of a denomination, i.e. the partnership.

Basically it's an issue of contextualization, i.e. hearing what people are really asking and answering in terms that are meaningful to them.


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