Non-denominational churches are Protestant Christian churches that aren’t connected to any specific church denomination. Here at Generations Church, we’re a non-denominational church that is focused on sharing that Jesus is real and that you can experience His love.
A denomination is a group of churches that comprise a larger organization and share very similar beliefs, traditions, and history. Some examples of denominational churches would include organizations such as Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Baptists. Churches within a denomination will follow the guidelines of that denomination around things such as communion, leadership, church structure, church finances, and theology.
Every non-denominational church has their own unique guidelines surrounding the same things. However, our focus is more on experiencing God and getting to know Him rather than on needing to follow a particular denomination’s set of beliefs.
The need for non-denominational churches grew out of a desire for church independence and a hope to return to a certain set of theological values. They are self-governed and, like ours, will typically place a high degree of importance on the authority of Scripture for daily living and growing a personal relationship with Jesus.
What is a Non-Denominational Church?
A non-denominational church may appear to be pretty similar to your typical denominational church. It will probably have a worship service, with music and preaching. You’ll have a pastor or two, like Kraig and LaSandra Wall. You may find small groups and opportunities to participate. You’ll likely find a lot of the same music, sermon topics, and basic needs within the church.
But a non-denominational church is run a little bit differently, depending on the individual church. For example, the leadership in the church might be structured differently from other local churches. The church may be solely run by the pastor, or there may be a church board or group of elders that help make decisions for the church.
While denominational churches may encourage people to vote on major church decisions, non-denominational churches might not go this route but instead depend on the wisdom of the church leaders to make decisions on behalf of the church.
Most major denominations require the churches to have open business meetings, as well. These types of churches need to show their financial records and where the church’s money is going. However, non-denominational churches don’t necessarily have to follow these rules. So you may get more or less information on how the church uses its money, depending on the openness of the church leadership or a need for privacy when it comes to benevolent giving.
What is the Purpose of a Non-Denominational Church?
Non-denominational churches were born from a combination of factors occurring throughout the 20th century, including the cultural shift to more personal expression, individualism, the influence of Pentecostalism, and religious freedom. The idea of ecumenism – bringing multiple denominations together, alongside of the first amendment (freedom of religion) further spread the appeal of non-denominational churches.
This helped people feel free to worship according to their personal religious convictions without being restricted to a specific denomination’s core values.
The non-denominational church has more freedom to act and react to culture, changing times, and local needs without having to go through the red tape of denominational government.
At the core of the purpose of Generations Church, we want to help you to experience the love of Jesus. We are passionate about connecting people to the love of Christ and seeing others become passionate followers of God, as well!
What is Denomination?
A denomination is a group of churches that share the same core values or belief system. While most Christian churches do share the same basic beliefs, there are a wide variety of ways to express these beliefs and the accompanying theology. By grouping churches in denominations, they can support each other in their by-laws, leadership, and beliefs that are specific to that denomination.
Some examples of different denominations are Presbyterian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, and Lutheran. They may have somewhat different views of miracles, the Holy Spirit, communion, and how the church is run. Each denomination is different, but the churches within it follow its belief system.
What Do Non-Denominational Christians Believe?
Non-Denominational Christians may hold a variety of beliefs, but they typically share a few core principles. Most of these types of churches, like ours, believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God and it is infallible, inerrant, and inspired by God. It instructs our worship, teaching, preaching, and other parts of church life, including our doctrine. Non-denominational churches also believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. He was crucified, died, and rose again to save us from sin and an eternity apart from God
Instead of trusting the codified beliefs of a denomination, each non-denominational church will look to its lay people or elders to interpret Scripture on behalf of the church as they are led by the Holy Spirit. This gives the individuals in the church more ownership of their beliefs and more flexibility for the church to respond to the changing needs of our society and the leadings of God.
Denominational churches, on the other hand, will have a set of creeds or beliefs that are strongly based in church tradition but may not be grounded in the Bible when compared to non-denominational churches. They may also have a structure that determines who can and cannot be a pastor or elder in the church, while non-denominational churches have more flexibility to decide that for themselves.
Generally speaking, both denominational and non-denominational Christians share certain beliefs, such as Jesus is the Son of God, was crucified, died, was buried, rose again, and is coming again. But there are far more variations on topics such as the Holy Spirit, creation, heaven, and the Gifts of the Spirit.
What Are the Advantages of Non-Denominational Churches
While some people love the tradition and structure of a mainstream denomination, there are many advantages to being a part of a non-denominational church.
Churches can seem very slow to change because they have to follow a process for making decisions and creating new ministries. It can take a while for a church to meet the needs of the congregation or local community because they have to have meetings, fill out forms, and create financial plans to show where any money is going. This complicated structure can make it harder for churches to adapt.
However, non-denominational churches aren’t bound by the same level of structure and process that other churches are. This gives non-denominational churches a little bit more freedom to make decisions, change, and adapt to the current environment when needed.
A non-denominational church has more freedom to try new ideas, create new ministries, and implement new programs. It’s also easier for a non-denominational church to make exceptions to church guidelines when needed.
While many denominational churches have doctrines and traditions that the churches are expected to follow, non-denominational churches have more freedom. They can focus more on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead or work in the life of a believer, whether that’s related to Bible interpretation or life mission.
This can encourage a more authentic relationship with God and a more genuine faith experience.
Non-denominational churches can encourage believers to question, understand different interpretations of Scripture, and seek the answer for themselves rather than just relying on a set teaching that was developed by someone else.
3. Focus on Relationship with Jesus Christ
A special part of being in a non-denominational church is the focus on building that personal relationship with God rather than just following a set of established doctrines or beliefs.
At Generations Church, we really hope that you will personally experience the love of Jesus and develop that relationship with the Living Christ.
This can look like more personal prayer, worship, and personal faith that helps members connect one on one with God in a way that is meaningful and authentic. Our church members are encouraged to seek God for themselves and grow in their relationship with God, their spirituality, and their faith.
4. Avoid Denominational Conflicts
Because non-denominational churches aren’t part of a church structure or hierarchy, they can avoid some tense denominational conflicts. Churches that don’t agree with their denomination’s beliefs or structure may wish to pull away, causing tension between churches or financial difficulties for the church.
This doesn’t happen in a non-denominational church. Instead of wasting time and energy on getting along with churches they might disagree with, they are free to develop their own beliefs and focus on the core beliefs of the Christian faith.
5. Participate in Church Life and Ministry
While denominational churches may focus on being led by professional and/or trained staff, non-denominational churches focus more on lay leadership and congregational participation. Members are expected to follow the Spirit’s leading in their lives and volunteer as they are able to.
There are always ways to get involved in non-denominational churches, where you can feel like you are making an important contribution to the life and health of the church. This may involve teaching, serving, giving, or just being willing to help when and where it’s needed.
Everyone is important, and everyone is encouraged to participate in ministry and small groups.
6. Learn About Jesus in a Safe, Supportive Environment
Non-denominational churches like ours sincerely encourage members to develop their personal relationship with God and to ask hard questions about their faith and theology. Because of this, they strive to create an environment for people to explore their faith and spirituality without being judged for asking questions and seeking authentic answers.
You’ll be able to learn about Jesus in a safe, supportive environment where you can bring your questions to your leader or your small group.
What Does the Bible Say About Denominational Churches?
The Bible does not specifically talk about non-denominational churches. However, it does talk about the unity of believers and the need to get together to learn about God and worship Him.
For example, in Ephesians 4:3-6, we see Paul reminding believers to “keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” Then in Hebrews 10:25, we are encouraged to keep meeting together and encouraging each other.
So, while these verses don’t directly address non-denominational churches, they give us the fuel to keep meeting as a church so we can encourage each other in our faith and support each other in our personal relationship with God.
How Does Joining a Non-Denominational Church Benefit Local Churches?
Joining a non-denominational church gives you a place to learn and grow in your beliefs, along with other people who are also seeking God. Joining the church places you in a relaxed, caring community where you can serve others, the church, and God, as you feel led.
The church community works together to help others and each other, creating a safe place to focus on faith and growth through Bible teaching, alongside of practical guidance for real life.
So not only is the member an asset to the church, but the church is also an asset to the member and the surrounding local community.
Why Should You Try a Non-Denominational Church?
When you visit a non-denominational church, the focus is on building your faith and building the community. We may all be individuals with different backgrounds and faith histories, but our love of Jesus is what brings us together to worship and get to Him more. The focus on the Word of God is key as well. Many times, denominational churches focus on social programs, or cultural norms, whereas here at Generations Church the full-focus is on the Word of God as being inerrant and the sole foundation for our faith.
You should try a non-denominational church if you want to experience Jesus personally, get to know His love, and grow in your faith and community.
Can Anyone Attend a Non-Denominational Church?
Everyone is welcome to attend a non-denominational church! We strive to create a welcoming environment regardless of your past, your church history, or your culture. However, since the Word of God is the standard for all truth; your past experiences, your choices, or your past church history or culture may run counter clock-wise with His Word and His Truth! So what are we saying? Since the Word of God is Truth, and He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, anything we do contrary to the Word, has to be examined according to what the standards of the Word are!
For example, in other words, if you find yourself continually lying, and yet the Bible tells us that lying is a sinful practice, we need to make the correction with the help of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you to do the opposite! Instead, we pray and repent, tell the Lord we truly are sorry for that sin, ask for His help, and then we make the correction going forward by telling the truth on every occasion! There are many scriptures that can help renew your mind to what His Word says, and it is definitely a lifelong journey of discovering more and more about Him through relationship with Him. So to answer the question, “can anyone attend a non-denominational church?” The answer would be “yes”, if you are willing to recognize sin in your life, and live a repentant life, asking Him to help you every step of the way and turning away from that sin. Jesus knows each person’s heart, but He will maintain the standard of His Word for all of us.