Working across Church Cultures for Church Planting Objectives
Romans 15:5-7 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Can anyone (who thinks critically) in a religious denomination say that they agree 100% with everything in that entity? I belong to one and there are positions with which I am in conflict. What this means is . . . there is no humanly formed organization that is infallible.
So what does your preferred church culture look like?
If you are like me, sometimes you feel liturgical. Other times you feel charismatic. This simply means that you are normal like Isaiah, David, Paul, and even Jesus. Sometimes I just want to stand in church with my eyes closed and be silent.
For instance, almost every denomination (Baptists, Methodists, etc.) has fundamentalists, conservatives, moderates, and liberals. A fundamentalist Baptist would culturally be more compatible with a fundamentalist Catholic than they would with a liberal Baptist on social and political issues. But then the liberal Baptist and the fundamentalist Baptist would agree on historic Baptist distinctives (priesthood of all believers, soul liberty, local church autonomy, etc.) even though they may interpret them differently.
A progressive Baptist and a traditional Episcopalian would be more compatible on social and cultural issues but diverge on their ecclesiologies (Episcopalian = Episcopal/Baptist = congregational).
A Pentecostal would agree with a charismatic Catholic on the Holy Spirit, but they would diverge drastically on soteriology and ecclesiology. While the Pentecostal would agree with a Baptist on ecclesiology.
What I am trying to say is that in resourcing our efforts for church planting we may find ourselves partnering with those whose distinctives do not line up 100% with our own because nobody’s line up 100%.
And so we may be led to form cooperate ministries with charismatic Episcopalians where such a level of cooperation with fundamentalist Baptists would not be possible. Where mutual respect and give and take can be maintained without sacrificing on the Lordship of Jesus or the authority of Scripture and in an atmosphere of empowered corporate worship and culturally effective outreach, our differences can be overcome to achieve a greater vision and purpose: the continuance of our respective church cultures and the contribution they make to our communities.