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We Aren’t a Denomination, but We Love Denominations

Here’s one of the most common questions we get: "Is Acts 29 a denomination?"

We are not a denomination and have no intention of becoming a denomination. But, we love, appreciate, and value denominations. They can provide amazing resources to help train leaders and further the causes of evangelism and church planting. This includes everything from Bible colleges and seminaries to international missions pathways and a host of others resources.

At Acts 29, we don’t create partnerships with denominations because that is not how we are set up.  We think denominations should be denominations and we should be a network of churches and church planters. Both can (and already do) exist. As such, we work with churches that are in denominations, rather than the denominations themselves.

My guess is that is best for everyone. Denominations do not need to have a plan to work with every network (and ours is one of many), and we can’t have a plan to work with every denomination.  Instead, we work with churches that can decide how best to work with Acts 29 while being a part of their denomination.

We are also clear that churches that are in Acts 29 and part of a denomination should be sincerely connected with that denomination—to believe its doctrine, to follow its policies, and to support its ministries. In other words, we are not competitors of denominations, but we are simply another tool that churches can use to cooperate to plant churches. So, we also encourage church planters to be faithful to their financial obligations to their denomination—to give to and be involved in their denomination. We ask Acts 29 churches to support their denominations and also give money directly to help start more churches, as directed by their elders.

That’s our passion and focus: reaching people and planting churches.  If a church in a denomination says, "I’d like to be in that network," and it works for them and their denomination, we are glad to have them if they fit us.

We also understand that some denominations have different views than Acts 29 on some matters.  We don’t try to convince them, we simply try to serve our churches that share our passion and want to network with other like-minded churches. We encourage church planters associated with Acts 29 to respect their denominational authority and polity, and abide by any covenants they sign.

So, we are a network of partner churches. If you’d like to be in Acts 29, and you can affirm our statement of faith and pass our assessment, you are welcome—whatever your denominational connection.

To denominations, we love you. We share passion for evangelism and church planting with you. And, when a church is a member of your denomination and of Acts 29, our hope is to interact respectfully.

One of the joys of Acts 29 is not only to see more people meet Jesus, more lives be changed, and more churches get planted, but to see that it is happening across churches from numerous denominations and networks.

According to our 2011 member survey, Acts 29 churches in the United States alone are also involved in the following groups and there are likely even more as we are now over 400 U.S. churches and new churches are being planted every week:

 

1.  Evangelical Presbyterian Church

2.  Southern Baptist Convention

3.  Converge Worldwide/Baptist General Conference

4.  Presbyterian Church in America

5.  Evangelical Free Church of America

6.  BGCT (Baptist General Convention of Texas)

7.  Conservative Baptists Northwest

8.  Fellowship Associates

9.  Mars Hill Network

10. Treasuring Christ Together

11. Christian Evangelist Association

12. Reformed Church in America

13. Conservative Congregational Christian Conference

14. Conservative Baptist Association of America

15. Independent Baptist

16. Christian Reformed Church

17. Northwest Conservative Baptist

18. Assemblies of God

 

And there are many independent churches not formally affiliated with any group beyond Acts 29.

Thank God for denominations that are preaching the gospel, planting churches, and doing missions. We are all, ultimately, on the same team. So, we are not a denomination, but gladly work with churches from across a spectrum of denominations to reach people and plant churches for Jesus Christ.

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Pastor Mark Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in the fall of 1996, which has grown to over 13,000 people including new sites in New Mexico and California. He co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, with three hundred churches in the U.S. and internationally, and is founder of The Resurgence.

Outreach magazine has recognized Mars Hill Church as the ninth most innovative and fifteenth fastest-growing church in America. Outreach magazine has also ranked Mars Hill Church number two of America's top multiplying (church-planting) churches. The Church Report has recognized Pastor Mark as the twenty-second most influential pastor in America. His sermons are downloaded more than a million times a year and he has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. Seattle magazine has named Pastor Mark as one of the twenty-five most powerful people in Seattle.

Media coverage on Pastor Mark and Mars Hill varies from National Public Radio to Mother Jones magazine, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Blender music magazine, Outreach magazine, Preaching Today, and Leadership magazine to ABC Television and the 700 Club.

His writing includes the books The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love, and Vintage Church. He also contributed to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, and made a chapter contribution to the book Above All Earthly Powers, edited by Dr. John Piper.

Most enjoyably, Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. You can read his full bio here.