Oct 21, 2009

If the PC(USA) Shut Its Doors, Would Anyone Notice?

Rick Rusaw asks, if your church were to shut its door and cease to worship, would anyone in the community notice? Would anyone care?

This is a vital question for all churches.

But what about denominations?

In a post-denominational, post-Christian, post-modern world, what role and function do denominations have?

If the PC(USA) were to shut its doors and cease to exist would anyone in our country notice? Would anyone care?

If the truth be told, I think the only ones who would notice would be PC(USA) folk, and I am not too sure that all PC(USA) would care if the denomination did go away.
This is a sad statement, but it does speak to the reality of a post-modern and post-denominational age that we live in.

One of the key questions is "What function and purpose does the denomination play in a missional church context?"

More than ever, the questions of ecclesiology and our understanding of our connectionalism is pivotal to understanding the present future.

Connectionalism is one of our favorite words as Presbyterians. But what does connectionalism mean?

  • How do denominations further the mission and the ministry of Jesus Christ? 
  • What can the denomination provide and do that a group of churches connected through purpose and ministry can't do on their own across denominational lines?

I may be treading on some dangerous waters here, but these are the questions our generation of leaders must be able to answer.

Until we can answer some of these questions, I think we're just going to be fumbling around in the dark.

1 comment:

Barry Ensign-George said...

James - great questions. I strongly agree that we need to have answers.

There has been a book published on denominations and being missional: The Missional Church and Denominations: Helping Congregations Develop a Missional Identity. It's edited by Craig van Gelder, published by Eerdmans. It has some good essays. Worth a look.

See you next week! Barry Ensign-George