I saw an interview with Mark Driscoll a while back in which he predicted that over the next decade denominations will be replaced by informal networks, such as his Acts 29. I remember thinking, "Wow, that is a rather extreme conclusion to come to." But now years later, here I am preparing to plant a church and wrestling with the question, Is there any good reason to align with a denomination?
Now I'll admit that I've sort of been around the block when it comes to denominations. My family roots are Methodist, most of my childhood was spent in a rural Baptist General Conference church, middle school, high school and college were spent in three different EFCA churches across two states, and today I find myself at a (albeit rather unorthodox) Southern Baptist Conference church on the west coast.
I like to think those 'cross-cultural' experiences have made me more balanced. But they have also left me without connection or obligation to any one denomination. So my question is: In a time when denominations are by-and-large decreasing in membership and increasingly viewed with skepticism by non-believers, are there any good reasons for aligning with a denomination rather than simply partnering with a network? (That is not a rhetorical question. I am really wondering.)