Seeking a tribe, megachurch weighs its Anabaptist optionsBy Kelli Yoder Mennonite World Review
Both parties agree that no matter what happens, the relationship is mutually beneficial. For Mennonites, an outside perspective can highlight forgotten or fading theology. For Woodland Hills, a denomination offers a community of believers who emphasize similar parts of the kingdom like the centrality of Jesus, peace and simplicity.
While the Baptist General Conference (recently renamed Converge Worldwide) asked Boyd to plant the church, the relationship has been mostly on paper.
“It hasn’t been a bad fit, it just hasn’t been any fit,” Boyd said.
Eddy said he’d like the connection to remain, “But we’d like to have something that reflects more clearly the theological changes we’ve made.”
They hope that can be found by asking, as Boyd put it: “Who can you join up with that’s going to help you further the kingdom the most?”
While Woodland Hills leaders teach from Anabaptist scholars like Murray and John Howard Yoder, it’s the stereotypes, culture, eccentricities and other details of the church that are more difficult to grasp.
“Woodland Hills brings a very kind of non-Mennonite culture,” Boyd said. “I’ve been told that just the way I carry myself isn’t very Mennonite.”
Eddy said members want to know if they’ll have to change the way they dress or their style of worship.
“A lot of people have questions about the cultural background,” he said. “David’s been very helpful in giving us a clear picture of the diversity of the contemporary church.”
Boshart said: “We’ve been a place for them to ask their questions of, ‘What’s it like to be a part of Mennonite church?’ They’ve wanted to glean from us anything they can about what it means to be a Christ-centered community that is engaged with its context.”
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