are denominations important?

According to dictionary.com a denomination is “a religious group, usually including many local churches,often larger than a sect.”

When I was younger I only knew about my larger denomination because my father was a pastor and would go to their meetings.  Otherwise I would not have had a clue about the larger body of churches that makes up a denomination.  While in university, I failed to see any value in my church being part of a denomination.  As a church goer I felt tremendously disconnected from this larger and seemingly purely administrative body.

I saw denominations as insignificant.  If my church was not part of a denomination, nobody would have noticed anyway.

Yet here I am today, a pastor and see the value in a denomination.  Not only does it provide the administrative backdrop that facilitates my being a paid pastor.  But, my denomination is also an excellent resource providing me with further professional development, a resource centre, and denominational leaders who can give a significant wisdom to my ministerial context.  More importantly, it connects me with other churches and leaders who share similar theology and are grounded in a similar faith tradition.

As a pastor, this formal network has been invaluable.

Blogger Ed Stetzer asks a question about the importance of church denominations pointing to the results of a recent study.  An important question that I think is worthy for those within the Anabaptist world to ask.  The results below are are interesting.  It is an American study, though I am not sure how the results would change if the same study were done strictly in Canada.  But the question remains.

Are denominations important?

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