Especially as the body of Christ, we have a moral imperative to behave with integrity, hold ourselves accountable when we don’t, and offer contrition and recompense to those who have been sinned against.
If our denominational structures aren’t holding leaders accountable and protecting the vulnerable, what possible reason can we have to justify our existence?
9. Church members are becoming more loyal to their local church and far less loyal to their denomination.
In many cases, church members don’t even know what denomination their church is involved in.
10. Denominational churches tend to have much more loyalty to their regional office than the national office.
It’s not unusual to hear about a regional denominational official being a sympathetic sounding board to their pastors and churches – even to the point of fielding complaints against the leaders of the national or international body.
Because of this, denominations would do well to strengthen local ties and bring more support to those who are ministering closer to the local church.
Interestingly, these ties are often theological, not just stylistic and structural. Denominations that are drifting from their historic theological beliefs tend to do so from the national level, causing a massive disconnect and distrust from the average church, pastor and member.
11. It can be easier for big churches to leave their denomination, but almost impossible for small churches to do so.
There are a handful of movements that are starting up to replace what is being lost denominationally. Some are based on theological disagreements, some based on methodological differences.
In some denominations, when a church leaves, they can lose their building, the pastor can lose their retirement package and more.
Big churches are far more capable of making up for these losses than small churches are, so the exodus of big churches with significant resources causes a further decline in the denomination, which makes the group they left even less able to help small, struggling churches.
This is not a complaint against big churches that often have valid reasons to leave, but it is a reality that we need to acknowledge if we ever hope to address it.