There are many acclaimed Interdenominational Christian Ministries in Nigeria. But in the real sense, are these ministries really interdenominational? In this post, we would asses the features of these interdenominational Christian ministries in Nigeria and see if they are really interdenominational.
What does it mean to be interdenominational?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines interdenominational as the principle of fostering intercommunion and cooperative activities among different religious denominations. In other words, interdenominational describes a ministry that does not discriminate doctrines and accept people of different denominations to participate in its activities. For instance, an interdenominational ministry in Nigeria will hold a program that can accommodate people from the White Garment Churches (Basically Celestial Church of Christ & Cherubim & Seraphim Churches), the presbyterian churches including the Anglican, Methodist, etc. the Pentecostals (RCCG, MFM etc.) and probably the Catholics. Interdenominational is supposed to be something that breaks the boundaries of denominations, for clarity, let’s describe what denomination means.
A denomination is a religious group that has slightly different beliefs from other groups that share the same doctrines. Denominations have a set of doctrines that guide their conducts in worship, in dressing, in eating and their lives generally. For instance, the Deeper Life denomination in Nigeria have a particular way they dress just to show modesty and decency. In other words, we can say that denominations are formed by a particular group’s interpretation of the Holy Bible and its application to lifestyle. This is the definition we will be working within this post.
The Growth of Interdenominationalism in Nigeria
As the church in Nigeria grew, we started having associations that bring all denominations/churches together under the same umbrella, for example, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). This fostered some forms of relationships between the church and thereby a need to break the barriers of denominations. Some youths of these churches started listening to messages from churches they did not attend while they remained faithful to their own churches. Some of these youths developed passions to start organizing events that bring Christians together in the same environment. And so, interdenominational ministries started growing. Note that not all of them were birthed from the pure passion to bring Christians together. Now, the questions are can a ministry really be denominational?
Do we really have Interdenominational Christian Ministries in Nigeria?
The basic concept of interdenominationalism is not allowing a denominational idea to reign supreme in a ministry. The ministry should have rules & regulations, mode of worship, doctrines that are favourable to all denominations. A critical look at the interdenominational ministries we have in Nigeria reveals that most of them are dominated by the denominational doctrines of whoever founded them probably with some little tweaks to make them look ‘interdenominational’. An Interdenominational ministry should be able to accommodate people from the catholic church, MFM, Lord’s Chosen, House on the Rock, Latter Rain, Cherubim & Seraphim Church and others. We do not expect that an interdenominational ministry will be completely favourable to all denominations but to a large extent, many of the denominations should feel comfortable.
In an interdenominational program, an MFM person should be allowed to say ‘fire’ after his prayer, a Celestial member should be allowed to enter the church wearing his garment and with bare feet, a Harvester or an Elevation member should be allowed to wear her high heels, rocking a beautiful gown and a Deeper life member should be allowed to tie her scarf neatly and still look pretty. Everyone should be under a roof and not feel guilty for one reason or the other or feel superior to the other Christian.
When we say a ministry is interdenominational lets really make sure it’s interdenominational. Jesus desires that the church comes to a unity of faith, not just uniformity. The more we fellowship together in one accord, the better our mindset aligns in Christ.
What is your thought, do you think ‘Interdenominational Christian Ministries in Nigeria’ are really interdenominational as they claim? If yes, to what extent are they interdenominational? Tell us in the comment box.
Michael Adegoke is a tech-savvy Christian who loves to create content that transforms lives. He has a degree in English & Literature and has engaged in different aspects of the digital space including Graphic Design, Digital Marketing Search Engine Optimization & Content Creation. Michael loves to help people solve their most puzzling problems; he cares so much about you, for real.