Protestantism/church membership

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Question
I have my own ministry, called the W Ky Christian Alliance. Whenever I'm talking to a church, many lately will ask me what church I'm from. I tell them I have my own ministry, therefore I don't have a church. I want to remain completely interdenominational, so I don't want to imply I represent a particular church. Many  have told me I would be so much more effective if i belonged to a church, as it would give me more credibility. What do you think?

Answer
Barney,

Thanks for your question.  I think the answer depends on your goals and intended audience.  Since I do not know these things, I will answer more generically.  

If you want to reach people outside of existing congregations, it probably does not matter which route you take.  

If you want to influence the direction of existing churches, many will only work with you if you are of the same doctrinal position as they are.  If you are not affiliated with any doctrinal position, then many will not consider working with you.  On the other hand, if you affiliate with a particular doctrinal position, those with a different one will likely not consider working with you.

If you go the route of affiliating with a particular church or denomination, then the most influential factor will be your reputation within that community, and whether you meet the necessary credentials within that community to do what you desire to do.  

If you go the route of remaining unaffiliated, then your credentials and achievement will likely be what those who might consider working with you will be examining as they make their decision.  Things like academic degrees, certifications, specialized training, and demonstrated success will be beneficial to your gaining trust from potential partners.  Without these things, it will be an uphill battle to build a reputation from the ground up, since in matters as important as truth and spiritual health, people want assurance regarding the suitability of those they are going to work with.  

In summary, I think you first need to have your goals and intended audience well-defined.  Then that will help clarify whether denominational affiliation, advanced education, or other methods will afford the greatest advantage to achieving those goals.  

Protestantism

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Rev. Jason P. Peterson

Expertise

I welcome the opportunity to answer questions regarding the similarities and differences between the various denominations of Christianity, especially those which involve the Reformation Traditions of Christianity (Lutheran, Calvinist, etc). I also take a great interest in examining new Christian movements and popular trends in Christianity from a Reformation perspective. I have particular expertise in the original Greek text of the New Testament and its meaning, as well as questions regarding liturgy, evangelism, and preaching.

Experience

I have been a pastor in the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod for the past six years at St. John's Lutheran Church in Burt, IA. I currently serve as chairman of the Commission on Ministerial Growth & Support of the Missouri Synod's Iowa District West and as Track Chaplain at Algona Raceway in Algona, IA. I also write as a religion columnist for two local newspapers.

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Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

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B.A. Concordia University - Ann Arbor, MI (Biblical Languages) M.Div. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (Exegetical Theology, Pastoral Ministry & Missions)

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Zion Lutheran Church (Columbia City, IN) Zion Lutheran Church (Altamont, IL) St. John's Lutheran Church (Burt, IA) Zion Lutheran Church (Lu Verne, IA) Algona Raceway (IA) Fairmont Raceway (MN) Hancock County Speedway (Britt, IA) Clay County Fairgrounds Raceway (Spencer, IA)

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