Our church is considering leaving our denomination and continuing as a nondenominational congregation. But we are concerned about the potential legal and financial consequences of doing so. Can the denomination lay claim to our church's building or property? What else should we consider?
Leaving a denomination is an extremely consequential choice for an individual body of believers. Your church leadership would do well to have a solid plan in place before approaching the denomination or introducing the idea of separation to the congregation.
Before you take even a first step toward denominational separation, I want to recommend that your church leadership answer seven questions in full, obtaining legal counsel where necessary.
What denominational rules apply to church formation and separation?
The first step in planning for separating from a denomination is to understand the applicable denominational rules. What documents govern the denomination as a whole, and what do those documents say about the control which the denomination has over individual churches?