Results of a new survey by LifeWay Research suggest that, although denominational pastors currently consider affiliation with their denomination of vital importance, a majority feel denominational identification will become less and less important over the next 10 years. The survey polled more than 900 pastors of denominational churches and found that three-quarters of them agreed with the statement “Personally, I consider it vital for me to be part of a denomination,” including 57 percent who strongly agreed. Three-quarters also said their congregation would agree that being part of a denomination was vitally important, as well, with 50 percent strongly agreeing.

Even so, nearly two-thirds of those polled (62 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that the importance of identifying with a denomination will decline over the next 10 years. “Many talk about the decline of denominations today, prompting us to ask pastors of churches that belong to Protestant denominations if they consider their affiliation vital,” said Ed Stetzer, vice president of research and ministry development at LifeWay Christian Resources. “Many will be surprised at how strong their response was in favor of denominational connection, but also intrigued that their outlook on the future is much less optimistic.

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