Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by KPBAP, Aug 12, 2003.
Is a parachurch organization a business or ministry? How do you determine the difference???
The defining characteristic of a parachurch is that it stands outside of the organizational structure of well-established religious bodies. The autonomy of the parachurch from established religious bodies allows a much greater degree of flexibility for innovation than is possible within an established organizational hierachary. Parachurches are often the creation of an entrepreneaur or a small cadre of people who seek to achieve specific goals.
The parachurch is effectively a new form of religious organization that dates from the early 19th century. In the first quarter of the 19th century, parachruch organizations were abundant in many forms -- Bible tract societies, independent educational organizations, independent missionary groups, and moral reform organizations. The parachurch model is the most significant organizational form in urban revivalism from the early 19th century. In the 20th century, most of the organizational structure of the major religious broadcasters could be characterized as parachurch in nature......
The rest of the article is here:
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Focus on the Family, my Campus Crusade, my para-church ministry . . because my CHURCH has failed.
I don't know how many people I know involved in parachurch organizations have implied (never said it outright) that THEIR work is what's really important.
But the CHURCH is good for $$$.
Most are ministries that operate like businesses. They charge churches or individuals for their materials or tools or services.
How to tell the difference? Well, what is their vision or mission? Do most of their materials or services clearly relate to the vision and mission? While there may be some items that will be nothing more than logo bearers to make some money, if that becomes predominate, it spells trouble.
Probably the best way to tell is to get to know the leadership and board of the parachurch organization. Are they passionate about the ministry or the prestige and perks? How strong is their love for Christ and His church?
The last church I pastored was what we called "The Church from Hell." I spent so much time working around those who caused me trouble because they were too proud to learn. Since we have left the church has not grown one person according to the denominational statistics. I was never able to even come close to reaching the number of people that I ever did when I was involved in a parachurch ministry. Imagine if Billy Graham waited for a church to recognize his giftedness and support him. He would probably still be waiting. In many denominations they have a headquarters that dictates to the rest what they are to do. When I was in a particular denomination I pastored a church that had three voulnteer state workers. Most of them would come back from a state or national meeting and tell me how we ought to be doing something that another church was doing. Once I comtacted a pastor who was a friend that pastored a church they used as an example and he filled me in how things really were--not at all like they said. How's that for undermining a pastor through those they could influence?
Just imagine if John Mott would have waited for the church to begin to reach people in the interior of a nation. we would probably still be waiting. But God used John Mott to start a new way of reaching people in the interior by sending them there. Earlier the church only sent people to the coast thinking that the interior would eventually be reached.
Most pastors spend so much time trying to put out fires and dealing with babies that don't want to grow but just create trouble.
The last church I pastored grew from 90 to 220 in 20 months. The deacons got more and more upset because they were losing their power to those who wanted to grow. We went from one service to two. We used some adjoining land for parking. More were baptized than in the history of the church. Most of them were brand new believers. God was working among the people. But the leaders in that church had a bad name and just made my family's life miserable by what they did and said. The same thing happened to another pastor I know. The church he pastored went from 75 to 600 in six years. The church mostly grew because of thr Mormons who came to Christ. The deacons didn't like it and asked him to leave. But before that the deacons made his life miserable.
In a parachurch organization when the person comes they agree to the requrements or they leave. In the parachurch organization I was involved with it was customary that a person proved their leadership some first by reaching at least one person. Nobody was given leadership until they provided proof by leading others.
I heard Rick Warren say at a conference that most pastors leave a church because of 8 or less people.
If churches operated like they did in the NT we would probably get rid of most of the leaders because they would be unwilling to pay the cost of following Christ.
This should be the criteria for judging churches as well as parachurches.
I believe parachurches are ministries. Focus on the Family is a parachurch that has given a tremendous amount of help to churches and individuals alike.
There is no doubt about the love for Christ and His church in this particular leadership.
One of the saddest things is when a parachurch organization begins to "prostitute" the gospel.
"Let's put Christianity or worse Jesus Christ in a money making package" They sell products in the name of Christ or slap Bible verses on junk for marketable evangelism. They cheapen the Gospel. Which makes me wonder if some are truly non-profit organizations. Something to ponder!
What do you mean "parachurch"? Are you referring to organizations that are run by churches like tv ministries, radio ministries, food kitchens, and community outreach programs? These organizations are not churches. They are religious and charitable not-for-profit organizations that do God's work on earth.
AMEN! to Dr. Bob's post. GB, you're arguing from experience over Scripture - dangerous position.