Denominational Suicide

Credit: Joanna Myszak

Credit: Joanna Myszak

Here are excerpts from a recent article by George Bullard titled Is Your Denomination Slowly Committing Suicide?

Many denominations are slowly committing suicide. Suicide is not an intentional destination. It is, however, the unintended consequence of their collective actions over multiple years.

Denominational movements reach a point that they institutionalize. They do this because it is fashionable, to create organizations that will guarantee their survival, in response to requests from parts of the constituency that they provide more programs and management, to complete their rebellion against other Christian groups they do not want to emulate, because focusing on institutional things keeps them busy and gains them greater status and notoriety, and because the opportunity was available to them.

Eventually, they become hooked, and even if they wanted to quit, many cannot or are in denial of the fact that they are killing themselves. Here are seven ways their suicide is becoming increasingly inevitable. These are not the only ways, but they are effective ways of committing suicide.

First, they lose their first love, which is congregations.

Second, they fail to create and sustain a congregational multiplication movement that launches a number of new congregations each year.

Third, culturally, if not officially, denominations formalize education requirements.

Fourth, officially they formalize and perhaps centralize the ordination of ministers.

Fifth, understanding and hearing the voice of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit is misplaced.

Sixth, when denominational headquarters does not understand the difference between a strategic framework and a strategy, it may be committing suicide.

Seventh, when denominations regularly restructure, their focus is usually on rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

It is suicide. It is slow. It is sure. Many denominations seem unable to stop themselves, and it is devastating.

To read the entire article, go to

Frankly, I agree with some of these more than others and might add a few of my own some day. Articles like this may seem sensational or irrelevant to some. To others, the words of Jesus ring loudly and clearly: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15)