It is so easy to fall back into your own denomination or ministry culture and criticize those who do things differently. Yet we need to show a watching world that we are as united as we can be. I also learn a lot from those in other traditions. It would be arrogance in the extreme to think that the way we are used to doing things is the only good way to do them! Realistically, with the state of the church in Western Australia, we cannot afford to rely only on our own denominations to reach everyone with the gospel.
A couple of weeks ago I spent two days at a conference with 170 or so other gospel workers. It was the Perth Gospel Partnership annual pastor’s conference. The PGP is an association between those who affirm a reformed and evangelical view of the Scriptures. (You can find out more about PGP here).
Good conferences are always encouraging, and the speakers on preaching and sexuality issues were helpful and thought-provoking. Yet I don’t go to these events for the speakers. I would attend this conference whoever happens to be speaking. I am always encouraged by the people.
Perth is a small place in terms of gospel ministry. Although the city has almost three million people, there are relatively few churches. This has led, over time, to an ecosystem where people know one another across denominational boundaries. The reformed churches in Perth tend to send their ministry candidates to the same interdenominational theological college (Trinity Theological College) and support the same Christian university ministries.