I talked with one of my seminary buddies the other day to tell him that Amy is pregnant. That’s about how my ‘keeping up’ has been lately. My college buddies and I only talk to each other when one (or rather one of our wives-although we each only have one- is pregnant).
He mentioned to me some of the frustrations of being in a denomination with which he wasn’t ‘on board.’ He’s hoping to make the jump to a non-denominational church somewhere, some time. However, he did really long for the connectionalism that presbyterianism offers, and lamented there was not nearly such a defined ‘network’ in the non-denom community.
Independent churches (baptist) and non-denominational churches don’t have the connectionalism offered in the presbyterian form of church government. And it is clear that they long for that. That is why they form networks and ‘conventions’ (Baptists) or associations. There’s no doubt in my mind (and probably in others’ minds) the presbyterian/connectional form is the most biblical. I think the argument lies in whether or not that model was meant to be normal for all times. I think that’s the question.
But existentially (experientially), it also makes the most sense. People long to connect. The problem with many is that they long to connect, but don’t want to commit or be held accountable. That’s where I feel the presbyterian form makes the most sense. If we look at our own hearts, we cannot help but be honest and admit we need accountability.
And certainly others do as well. If a pastor is being a bum, we as the presbytery have the responsibility keep that bum accountable. I’m not a presbyterian Nazi, attempting to ‘convert’ everyone. I’m really not. It just seems that if you think about our needs for connection and accountability, it just makes sense.
I love GOING to presbytery meetings to connect, network, meet, establish, and nurture friendships. I often hate SITTING through them because they are extremely inefficient. But I’ll still defend our need to meet together quarterly, even though we can do in 3 hours what it takes us 8 to do!
Perhaps if everyone was a pragmatic as myself, we’d lose something. I have to tell myself that at least, or I’ll go crazy.