I often hear negative and disparaging remarks about denominations and it troubles me. I was on TBN once and the host made a comment that indicated that a particular problem was unique to denominations. I quickly reminded him that that particular problem occurred in independant and non-denominational churches as well. He agreed and we moved on. The point being that there is this myth that being an independant somehow results in a superior church model. This is a myth because there are as many disfunctional independant and non-denominational churches as there are denominational churches.
Last week I traveled to North Dakota to preach the dedication sermon for the Dunseith Church of God (Wind of the Spirit Ministries) as they moved from their small wood frame building, into a stately stone building that was more than twice the size of their former building. Our church has supported the ministry of Pastor Daniel and Sandi Bean for about two years. When I arrived I found that the Solid Rock Church of God from Mobile, Alabama was there with 40 people, and another Church of God from Georgia was there with another dozen or so people. The state youth director from Kansas, Bill Harrison, was there where he took time to minister to youth in the area.
In addition the state overseer, Jeffery Robinson, his brother Jeremy and their father Julian Robinson were there as well. The pastor of Solid Rock Church of God is Glenn Barnhill and his associate pastor, who heads up home missions projects, Tommy Pike, were there for the celebration as well. Solid Rock Church of God purchased the new building for the Dunseith Church of God and at their request the building was dedicated in memory of Jeannie Robinson, the wife of Julian Robinson.
As I saw all the activity and the outreach, and knowing the contribution of time, talent and money to the Dunseith Church of God by so many Church of God faithful, it occurred to me that this is the strength of a denomination. We are a family and we celebrate with one another the success of each of our churches or ministries. Looking at all that was accomplished I was proud to say that I am a pastor in the Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee.