Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The benefits of denominationalism...

...Or, at least, one benefit: the process is a lot cleaner. I was corresponding with the Real Live Preacher briefly about this, and he confessed that, being in a more independent church context, he had always found that, "there are as many ways to do this as there are churches, it seems. No rules, and a lot of mistakes."

I appreciate his honesty about it, and it causes me to recognize the great benefits of being a part of a denomination. A few that come to mind:

  • Networking: to whatever extent you utilize the natural network that occurs in a denomination, it is a huge benefit for the candidacy process.
  • Administrative functions: services such as the placement office at my denominational seminary and the Administrative Office of the denomination itself may the system run a bit smoother.
  • Mentoring: operating in a Presbytery has the natural element of peer acountability, mentoring, and oversight as a requirement.
  • Guidance for churches: while many don't pursue it as much as is actually available, there is good help for churches who need guidance through the search process.
  • Known standards: in spite of what I said in an earlier post, there is a level of theological standardization that is all but taken for granted, but has a huge benefit to the process.

It is helpful to me to keep a healthy perspective on this question; I love my denomination, and I'm ready to take vows of commitment to the PCA. Thanks to Real Live Preacher for reminding me of that.

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