Our modern western world is finding itself in a very unique and challenging time. On the one hand, we are seeing what looks like a great chasm with those who believe in science and therefore not God on the one side and the religious believers who believe that their faith will fall apart if they begin to take science seriously.
On the other hand, we are seeing a people who are beginning to understand the science of how the planet and everything it encompasses works and who is, at the same time, attempting to do the work of God by taking care of the poor, the sick, and those in need. There are tens of thousands of people in the United States who might not call themselves religious but who are doing the work of God, nonetheless.
Since, the early 1970s, there has been a movement within the broader Christian community that has seen a growth of about 400% in its affiliation. This group is made up of protestant Christians who take part in what is known as non denominational worship. In other words, the have elected to have no affiliation with the mainline “named” churches. These non denominational churches have refused to take on any name, though they would almost always be known by some name that had to do with Jesus or the Christ.
Almost all non denominational worship communities will offer a Sunday worship. Many have two services on Sunday for their worship gathering. This appeals to many different people who are coming out of different kinds of backgrounds and upbringings. One out of every five adults has reported as having come from a mixed background when it comes to their religious tradition and upbringing, and just a little more than 10% of people say that they were raised by one person who was religious and another person who was not.
Coming together in non denominational worship after having been raised without a convincing and definitive argument for wanting to continue one way or the other with religious practice actually makes a great deal of sense. Even though many were raised one way, as they began to become adults or maybe well into adulthood for some, finding God in a community that practices welcoming inclusion often makes the most sense.
Many Secular Humanists would argue that anyone can do what Christians call the work of God without having to worship somewhere formally. They would argue that it is the practice of feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and clothing the naked that makes one a follower of Jesus. Therefore, why should we divide ourselves by the system of beliefs we hold to. How could Jesus ever be wronged if we do what He has called us to do?
That all makes a great deal of sense. At the same time, there is something very important and relevant about coming together in community to call on God. The non denominational worship that is held in many non denominational churches strives to do that for as many people as it can. The Church in a universal sense is calling on God, praising God, and acknowledging the successes and failures of our very difficult lives. When we come together in community as God would have us do, we come together embracing one another and supporting one another through this world of trouble and sorrow.
In addition to coming together and supporting each other in our sorrow and difficult times, a community of God also comes together to rejoice. We rejoice when people are rejoicing and we are weeping when others are weeping. We learn to give and we also learn to receive, which can sometimes be a very difficult thing to do.
Non denominational worship is growing in the western world because men and women are finding community, and within that community, they are finding God. God is not a being or a super someone “out there” somewhere. God is in the midst of our lives where we come together to minister to each other.
If you have been seeking a place to find God, give a non denominational church a try. You just might be surprised to find God where you least expected to.