Is Your Church Considered Non-denominational?


A recent postings article from SI documented a significant drop in the SBC (Souther Baptist Convention).  At the same time, a link article (available HERE --link is external)) document growth among non-denominational churches.

In our area, some of this growth has come form UMC going independent.

Still, I was curious:  How many SI churches list themselves as non-denominational?  For purposes of this survey, this has nothing to do with doctrine per se.

The SBC is technically a convention, but, with the Baptist "identifier," it would be viewed as a denomination (as would the GARB or Grace Brethren).

Independent Baptist churches may not be part of a denomination, but the "Baptist" identifier makes them "independent" rather than "non-denominational," for purposes of nomenclature.

Most IFCA churches would probably identify themselves as non-denominational (no "identifier" in their title), and the affiliation is nothing like a denomination.  However, others would avoid the term and say they were independent rather than non-denom.  

Essentially, choose the nomenclature you use to describe your church to others, or how you list it in the yellow pages or online.  This is not about the difference between a very structured denominaiton with authority at the top and groups that allow for authonomy, but public perception.

Yes, our church is listed/described as non-denominational.
25% (7 votes)
Our church does not belong to a denom but has a denom name (e.g., Baptist) or is known as independent.
36% (10 votes)
WE have an affiliation, but its influence is not strong enough to be considered a denomination (like IFCA).
14% (4 votes)
Our church belongs to a denomination, one with autonomous or non-autonomous churches.
25% (7 votes)
Total votes: 28
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There are 3 Comments

Kevin Miller's picture

I voted for the fourth option, since the Evangelical Free Church of America describes itself as "an association and fellowship of autonomous and interdependent churches united around the same Statement of Faith."

Josh S's picture

Our church is in fellowship with the state association of the GARBC but not the GARBC itself. Don't ask me how that happened. It was before my time. We don't actually do a lot with the association itself. Our networking is fairly organic. We cooperate and fellowship with many area churches. Most are GARBC. Some are IFCA. Others are "independent Baptist" or "independent Bible" churches. 

So, whatever that makes us. Smile

Josh Stilwell, associate pastor,  Alathea Baptist Church, Des Moines, Iowa.

Ed Vasicek's picture

If your church has the name "Baptist," it is considered denominational by onlookers.  You might describe it as independent, but not non-denominational.  The same church with the word "Bible" or "Community" or simply "Faith Church," (while also not belonging to a denomination) would be non-denominational.  So you would be in the second category. If you don't have the name "Baptist" but a state affiliation that does have such a name, you fall int he cracks.  The question, really, is "how do you bill yourself?"  When people say, "what kind of church are you?" do you say non-denom or something else?

"The Midrash Detective"