by Larry Kinser, Interim Pastor
When working for Evangelical Friends Church-Southwest, I fielded a common question in most of my on-site church visits. “What do we, the individual church, receive for our investment in the denomination?” Without being terse or unkind, the obvious first response was that I am able to make an on-site visit for encouragement and counsel because of their contribution to the central office. That should have been obvious.
I would quickly move beyond the temptation for reaction and search for a response. The truth of the matter was that the question and perspective was wrong. Yes, it is true that the central denomination exists to come along-side the local church and help, but that is a secondary purpose.
The correct perspective is: “In many areas of ministry, we can do more and better ministry together than we can do by ourselves.”
- Unless a church is of ‘mega-size’, it cannot provide a camping program alone. It needs the help of the total organization.
- Our Jr. High quiz program provides a greater community platform that makes Bible knowledge a competitive team sport, thereby attracting and training more youth.
- Missions endeavors, both in the U.S. and off-shore, are much more effective when we collaborate together for common goals and projects.
- Larger and healthier churches can provide the resources, through the central office, to help and encourage the smaller or the unhealthy churches.
- A system of providing pastor placement resources would only be possible with a centralized system.
- Sometimes financial resources can be shared or loaned.
And that is just a start.
Northridge Friends Church is a member church of Evangelical Friends Church, Mid-America Yearly Meeting. Being one of the three larger churches, we carry the privilege of providing significant resources for the greater community of churches. Since we are located less than three miles from the denomination offices, we also provide logistic support through sharing our facility for meetings. The smaller churches also rely on Northridge for transportation help through our van pool.
Northridge is a significant church among Friends, and we should take great joy in providing the resources to make other churches significant. Check out efcmaym.org
– Interim Pastor Larry Kinser, Northridge Friends Church