What is a Non-Denominational Church?
Whether you grew up in the Christian faith or not, you may be confused by the term ‘non-denominational church.’
There are many churches in existence today that refer to themselves as non-denominational or sometimes interdenominational – but what does this actually mean?
We’ve attempted to answer some of the most common questions.
A non-denominational church is a Christian church that holds no connection with the recognized denominations and mainline churches such as the Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Methodist churches.
Church denominations are larger organizations that hold a particular identity, set of beliefs, and traditions. In denominational churches, the broader organization may set forth directives on leadership structures, membership, and dogma.
In non-denominational churches, each church makes decisions on various parts of church life for itself.
Non-denominational churches first arose during the latter half of the 20th Century.
Although there are now many of them in several countries all over the world, it was here in the United States that they first started to appear.
For the most part, non-denominational churches arose out of a desire for independence and a need to return to the biblical basics of Christianity, removed from the doctrinal and sometimes political affiliations that many long-established denominational churches had accumulated over the years.
Many denominational churches also have established hierarchical structures led by a formal priesthood.
Although non-denominational churches do have pastors and elders who work to guide and assist the congregation in their relationships with God, and they do believe that there are those individuals who have a special anointing to teach, their structures are much less formal and the door is always open to any members of the congregation who feel a calling to participate in the life of the church.
There are, of course, a number of foundational beliefs
that bind all non-denominational churches together in the broader Christian fellowship. The cornerstone of these is the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son and earth
ly incarnation of God, as well as His crucifixion, resurrection and prophesied second coming. This is a belief, of course, that non-denominational churches share with all Christians. Another central belief, as has already been mentioned, is that the Bible is God’s word in a literal sense and that it is perfect as it stands, without any need for additions or further explications of doctrine.
The Christian life, therefore, as far as non-denominational churches are concerned, is one grounded in biblical principles.
Non-denominational churches have the freedom to worship in different ways.
These churches often worship with modern forms of music rather than the use of hymnals and are more likely to engage with congregants beyond the physical church space on social media and other church-organized events.
There are also usually leaders within the church who specialize in interacting with younger generations and relating to their concerns and life challenges as peers, rather than as authority figures.
This holds a great deal of appeal to youth, who may otherwise feel that their thoughts and questions are not understood by priests and church elders.
The appeal for the young (teens and college age) church-goer is understandable because the focus is more relational and less institutional.
Congregants can break away from traditions and live out their individualism in their worship and religious affiliations.
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"But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"