Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Eleven-year-olds talking about denominations

Ashley, our eleven-year-old, had a sleepover, and the next morning the girls were talking around the island in the kitchen.

Ashley to her friend Kira: "Is your church Baptist or a Christ Church, or what?"

Kira: "It's not a denomination." Kira attends a community church.

In the other room, I had been talking to the mom of Heidi, another friend of Ashley's, and they attend a different church, called Community Bible Church. We walked into the kitchen and the girls got quiet, as eleven-year-olds often do when adults enter, like the animals stop talking when people appear in the old Far Side cartoons.

Me: "Talking religion in here, girls? Do you know what denomination means?"

The eleven-year-olds all shrugged or nodded their heads no.

Me: "It basically means a particular church group or organization of churches. All three of you girls attend non-denominational churches." I could tell I'd lost them at hello.

Heidi's mom: "The Church of Christ is a denomination."

I just smiled and asked if the girls had everything before they left. When Kira's mother arrived, I told her about the conversation. She looked puzzled. She had no idea the church of Christ had been a "non-denominational" unity movement.

Ashley is a fifth generation member of the non-denominational churches of Christ. Kira and Heidi both attend community churches. Who flipped the script on the Restoration Movement? The non-denominational unity and Christ-centered, Bible-reading, and Christian-name-wearing legacy of restoration lives on in tens of thousands of churches and many varieties worldwide.

But many people in these churches--anecdotally, at least these two families--are not aware of this legacy in the churches of Christ.

1 comment:

Vkls said...

Greg, Three years ago I had a similar conversation with the mother of one of my daughter's friend's. She, too, attended a community church. The conversation ended with her conclusion, delivered very kindly, that I really just did not understand non-denominationalism.
It was a humbling experience that was also very sad.