Tag Archive - denomination


Top 5 Posts from May

Thank you for making the month of May an incredible month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s so encouraging to read the comments and see the interaction through social media about the content and articles that are posted here! It’s encouraging to hear stories about how different posts have been helpful. So thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

#1 “5 Reasons it’s Good When People Leave Your Church”

What if I told you that people leaving your church can actually be a good thing? Maybe even the best thing? In this post I share 5 reasons it’s actually good when people leave your Church.

#2 “Church Boards Gone Wild”

If you’ve led in a church for any length of time you can probably tell some stories of experiences you’ve had with dysfunctional Church Boards. In this post I share the 4 stages of growth that a Board goes through and what they should be doing at different stages of church growth.

#3 “Chick-fil-A Leadercast: Andy Stanley”

If you missed the Chick-fil-A Leadercast then you missed out on some great content! But no worries you can catch up quick. I posted my notes and thoughts from each of the sessions! In this session Andy Stanley shared 3 questions that bring simplicity and clarity to leadership.

#4 “Do Denominational Labels Matter Anymore?”

It used to be that whatever denominational label you wore provided some clear context as to who you were and where you were coming from. Not so much anymore. In this guest post by my friend Matt Willmington we take an honest look at this tough question.

#5 “Avoiding the Multisite Mothership Syndrome”

Originally written as a guest post on TonyMorganLive, I share 5 key things I’ve learned about leading in a multisite church environment.

As a bonus check out “10 Questions to Answer Before You Begin a Building Campaign at Your Church”  a guest post by my friend Luke Simmons that got a lot of traffic this past month as well!

Posted in Leadership


Do Denominational Labels Matter Anymore?

Recently I was criticized by a former student that Thomas Road Baptist Church is not “Baptist” enough. I’ve heard that from time to time. Used to happen at West Ridge Church when new folks would come in and say, “love this place, but it’d better be Baptist or we’re gone!”

My word. John the Baptist didn’t die for my sins, Jesus did. Having been in a Baptist church most of my life, I have an appreciation for the times in history when true followers of Jesus in response to false teachings or persecutions did distinguish themselves with the name Baptists. I do appreciate the long history of disciples who called themselves Baptists who gave all and died on foreign shores to proclaim Good News. People claimed the name Baptist as a way to say they were followers of the Way in religiously confusing times. I honor those martyrs and that history. It’s disrespectful to ignore it.

But Baptist only? Baptist above all? The Baptist life? What about the Christ life? What about Christian? What about disciple of Jesus above all?

I humbly perceive that 90% of people who argue about being Baptist over another name are referring to worship styles, denominational practices, and secondary or tertiary teaching distinctions. They don’t understand primary biblical doctrine that unites most of us. By the way, stick another name in here: Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentacostal, Calvary Chapel, Lutheran- we’re all guilty.

Yes, Dr. Falwell once held an event called Baptist Fundamentalism, which gave us all a free trip to skip conference sessions and explore Washington DC. But he was a Christian first and foremost – “Jesus First”. He was a fundamentalist evangelical, holding to core teachings and heart of the mission with any brother of another name who would join.

Time is coming very rapidly in America, where names, tribes, associations, denominations will mean very, very little to anyone outside the faith. The only questions they will ask are these: “Are you followers of that Jesus? Do you believe those teachings of that Book? Do you really love each other the way He said you would? Is there any salvation there for me?”

God help us if the answer is, “not sure ‘bout all of that, but we’re Baptist!”



This is a guest post by my friend Matt Willmington. Matt is the Director of Ministries at Thomas Road, where he has served in various capacities for 13 years.  Prior to rejoining TRBC in 2009, Matt ministered eight years as executive pastor and small groups pastor at West Ridge Church in Dallas, GA. Matt is also a former youth ministry educator for Liberty University.

Matt has been a Christ-follower for 42 years and husband of a kindergarten teacher (Chris) for 23 years. He is also the father of two young adults and one high schooler.

Posted in Spiritual Formation