Just a couple of generations ago, the landscape of Christian churches was mainly characterized by large denominations. Churches associated with those denominations are still easily found, but the congregations have gradually become smaller. Not everyone is leaving the Christian faith, however; instead, many are flocking to nondenominational houses of worship. Someone who is intrigued by this development might read about the church on the rise history to get an initial sense of what these organizations have to offer.
Attempts at Categorization in the 21st Century
Various demographic and statistics researchers are trying to categorize these churches better than simply calling them “Protestant, nondenominational.” Church on the Rise, for instance, might be categorized as “Pentecostal, other,” distinguishing it from the Assembly of God and others with similar beliefs. The emphasis with all of these churches tends to be more on spiritual feelings and experience than has been true in the past.
An Emphasis on Inclusion
Some of these churches also place an emphasis on inclusion, choosing to avoid the aspect of division that is intrinsic to denominations. Each denomination and all the sub-branches of those classifications were originally divided due to variations in beliefs. Differences in beliefs may focus on doctrine, acceptable behavior for Christians, and other factors.
A more “modern” church might hold as its fundamental belief that Jesus Christ is the Savior who died for the sins of humanity, but dispense with most or even all of the intricacies. These newer churches have seen incredible growth in the past few decades as society in general becomes more accepting and tolerant of different beliefs.
More Conservative Belief Systems
In contrast, some of the other newer houses of worship have proved to be very conservative in their belief systems, even if those specific aspects are not detailed in their mission statement or statement of belief.
For instance, their members may avoid drinking alcohol and dancing, and they take a strong stance against sex outside of marriage. They may be more evangelical than many of their other Christian counterparts. Some of these organizations become miniature denominations in a sense, but they have the potential to grow dramatically.