What denomination are you?
It’s one of the first questions that visitors and prospective visitors ask. I know because I’ve asked it many times. Some churches put it on the sign out front. Other don’t. Some churches are closet Baptists or closet Reformed or whatever their flavor. They’ll hide their affiliation or not advertise it for one reason or another. It’s actually an important question, though, because it helps like-minded believers find a place of worship where they usually fit in both in practice and doctrine.
Recently, there has been a big push among churches to not be in a particular denomination. It started many years ago with the peculiar denomination known as “the non-denominational church”. Inside the doors, every one of those churches I ever visited resembled a Baptist church in every way but name. Nowadays, some of the really traditional ones still go by that name. Most of the newer contemporary churches go by the “community church” name or no advertised affiliation whatsoever. It was made very popular by places like Saddleback and Willow Creek. In the community church grouping you’ll find just about anybody represented- Baptists, Methodists, Reformed, etc. It almost seems like the denominational lines are blurring in a big way without becoming the one world religious monogamy or one world church that many of my religious brethren have warned against for years.
All of this was brought to my attention this morning after reading in the paper about a potential name change for the Southern Baptist Convention. They’re considering the change because of the effect the name has on preventing people from going into their churches. There’s a lot of stigma attached to the name that people are afraid of. I like the quote from Convention President Bryant Wright that really defines the issue- “The reason for doing this is simply to say: ‘Do we have any unnecessary barriers in reaching people for Jesus Christ?”
So what will be the denominational stand of The Pilgrimage?
Here’s how I see it. I grew up Baptist, so there will be elements, especially our Statement of Faith, that may seem very Baptistic. There will also be certain elements that my Baptist brethren would excommunicate me for. I won’t tell you what though. Come by the church to see for yourself. We’ll be working with a lot of churches in our area and all over the world. My son attends Cub Scouts at a Methodist church. Two of my Pastor-mentors lead Southern Baptist influenced churches although one or both are very Reformed minded. I attend the Global Leadership Summit at a community church. We don’t all agree on everything, but we can work together on some things.
So that’s us…
We are The Pilgrimage.
Not Pilgrimage Church.
Not Pilgrimage Baptist/Methodist/Calvinist/Presbyterian or even Community Church.
We’re The Pilgrimage!
And we hope you’ll join us.