Why did you choose your church denomination or did you choose it at all?

Posted: May 14, 2011 in christianity, church, personal, theology, Uncategorized
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I just came back from the Vineyard National Leadership Conference and I have to admit that I have been struggling about my church affiliation. To be a part of the Vineyard as an African American man almost feels like treason to my race and also a long distance trip to Mars: very lonely. But as we drove to Phoenix and I wrestled with this issue I realized there was a reason why I wanted to be in the Vineyard and there are great things that people in the Vineyard have deposited in me. So here are seven things I have learned from being a part of the Vineyard:

1. How to pray for people effectively

2. How to think about the kingdom of God

3. How to embrace theological diversity

4. How to be authentic

5. How to think both/and

6. How to fail and still honor God in the process

7. How to appreciate good wine and beer πŸ™‚

I think it is important to know why we are in a particular church or denomination (although the Vineyard is not a denomination πŸ™‚ and to weigh those reasons against what makes sense biblically and practically. Some are in a particular church tradition because they inherited it from their parents. Others are in it because of a particular preacher or that’s all they know. What about you what do you appreciate about the tribe that you are a part of?

  1. Marilyn says:

    I am amazed by people who say they are lifelong whatevers (Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.) just because I have not had that experience. But then we have had several major household moves to different states and have had to find new church homes each time.

    I like the way you have listed out what you have gained from your Vineyard involvement. It’s good to acknowledge how it’s helped grow you. It’s too easy when questioning whether it’s a good fit for you to focus solely on the things that chafe.

    And I think identifying the positive role it has played either reaffirms your call to it or helps you process the inevitable grief of transitioning elsewhere because a change of church or denomination IS a grief, even when it’s a good move and the right move.

    Praying for God to show Himself in your wrestling through these issues.

  2. it was great hanging with you all in Phoenix! i know all-to-well how lonely it can feel, and i’m not an African American man in this movement…but know that you are not alone.

  3. mayotron says:

    @Marilyn-It is a wrestling. From what I can tell alot of our decisions regarding church have more to do with relationships and community than anything else. This is the healthy soil that God provides for our faith to grow. I realized that although it has been a lonely road I have had some good mentors from the Vineyard who have poured into my life

    @Steven-It was good hangin with you too Steven! I believe you do know. In fact, this was one of the loneliest conferences not because I was African American but because I was lugging around two toddlers. A very different experience πŸ™‚ I still got some good time catching up with folks; got some good prayer and prophetic words and enjoyed many of the sessions in between diaper changes. LOL.

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