New Survey: "Non-Denominationals" Unwittingly Are Denominational

The results of a recent survey has some surprising findings. One quote from the article:

Many, especially in evangelical churches, do not realize that they are worshipping as part of larger organized bodies. Mega-churches, such as Rick Warren’s 20,000 member Saddleback Church in California, do not advertise their denominational flavor — which may help them attract the religiously uninitiated. Saddleback, for instance, is connected to the Southern Baptist church, but does not broadcast this affiliation.

very true.

All of the larger Baptist churches in my area are changing their names and removing their affiliation from the street signs. It’s weird, actually. The largest is “The Family Church” Formally the First Baptist Church of Sugar Hill. They keep an incredibly small FBC on the corner of the sign. I’m sure that will come off the next time they buy a sign.

It’s called ‘marketing’. The name ‘Baptist’ has a bit of a name-recognition problem. Everyone’s heard of ‘Baptist’, but it leaves a bad taste in their mouth, for many.

The solution: change the label! Use words like ‘family’, ‘community’, or ‘Christian’. Or even better, ‘saddleback’ – as if you were a cowboy out on the range. Or ‘Willowcreek’ – now, who doesn’t like creeks and willows? Only unpatriotic, unAmerican, Apple-pie-hating Commie pinkos.:smiley:

It’s sad when you can find books on how to market and biuld a Church

Heehee…my husband and I have a similar joke about churches that end with the prepositional phrase “of Prophecy”. I can’t tell you how many churches I’ve seen down here in Mississippi that have added “of Prophecy” to their signs (seemingly) out of the blue.

My pastor (an Assembly of God church) mentioned changing our name when we move buildings to something that doesn’t sound like Assembly of God.

:rolleyes: I find it to be a silly fad.

Actually this probably reflects a split that is nearly a century old. The founder of one of the early Pentecostal denominations, the Church of God (Cleveland), was accused of financial misdemeanors and ousted. Some of his followers remained loyal and eventually took the name Church of God of Prophecy to distinguish themselves from the larger group. I believe that all the groups with “Church of God” in the name tend to prefer that simple title and only use distinguishing phrases out of necessity (here in Indiana we have the Church of God, Anderson, which is different from the southern “Churches of God” in not being Pentecostal–but again they tend to say just “Church of God” unless pushed). I don’t know why they would start putting the name on the sign only now, but perhaps for some reason it has recently become ambiguous in your particular area (i.e., perhaps a rival “Church of God” has established a presence, or whatever–or perhaps there’s some completely different reason I don’t understand).


Ahimsa, I love the way you put this. It is so true!

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