February 12, 2013
Minnesota Megachurch To Go Mennonite? Possibly, Says Greg Boyd
(UPDATED) Woodland Hills's 2,500 members will join either Mennonite Church USA or the Brethren in Christ.
Update (Feb. 19): If Boyd's congregation decides to join Mennonite Church USA, its 2,500 members would help the American denomination catch up to Anabaptist groups in India, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo that have surpassed it in size. New figures from a triennial census catalogue 1.77 million Anabaptists in 243 national conferences in 83 countries—a growth rate of almost 10 percent since 2009.
"About two-thirds of baptized believers are African, Asian or Latin American," notes Mennonite World Review.
Christian writer and speaker Greg Boyd's megachurch is weighing its affiliation options, part of a yearlong commitment to exploring Anabaptism.
According to Mennonite World Review, Boyd said Woodland Hills Church has been "'growing in this direction since the church started, without knowing what Anabaptism was.'" Now, its pastoral team is in talks with leaders of both the Mennonite Church USA and the Brethren in Christ denominations.
Other Anabaptist denominations have also courted the church, even though Woodland Hills "'brings a very kind of non-Mennonite culture,'" Boyd said.
According to data from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there is only one other Mennonite megachurch in America: Northwoods Community in Peoria, Illinois. (However, Canada has a few of its own.) The Brethren in Christ also only have a few megachurches in the U.S.
CT has previously reported on Boyd, a leading proponent of open theism and a prominent Twin Cities pastor, who has criticized the Religious Right and supported pietism. CT also has covered the Anabaptists and the Mennonites, who are known for their pacifism.