Friday, February 27, 2009

False Ideas 8: Parachurch versus Local Church

A final false division I want to discuss is the separation of the parachurch from the local church. This is very prevalent today. Again this label is not found in the Bible but is used to categorize a segment of the church, and the label has an effect on us that is both subtle and subversive.

This false dichotomy is relatively new and was born out of function rather than doctrine. It has become such a prevalent way of viewing ministry that I will give the attention of a few posts to it.

The prefix para has the idea of coming alongside something. So a “parachurch” ministry is a ministry that comes alongside the church to help her fulfill her mission. So now in our thinking there is the church and there is an auxiliary ministry that is not the church but functions alongside the church. If Jesus saw this as a need, why didn’t he create the church and the parachurch from the beginning? Why did it take eighteen hundred years before parachurches were formed?

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