Comment to 'Para-church ministries'
  • Dan, good to see you. Salutations!

    Congratulations on your exciting new book, available free in audio and text. livingtruth.com

    My, my in the 1800's several denominations had long debates about the legitimacy of even mission boards. Definitely bureaucracy has taken its toll in the church and in the corporate as well as political realms.

    Charles Spurgeon used to pray: Lord, lead me not into a committee.  :)

    In contrast to para-church ministries, the scriptures emphasize indvidual responsibility. For the good of the body, of course. If you can do it - you may do it, so to speak.

    We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Rom. 12:6-8 

    A para-church ministry, in my opinion, still could have its place just as Professor Snyder suggests. It might even be temporary. Just for a specific project. Considering our freedom in Christ, I would not be overly judgmental about a specific ministry undertaken by others.

    Wonder what happened to Howard Snyder? He's definitely retirement age by now. A real pioneer and a good example of a righteous life.

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    • David, thanks for the comment: "A para-church ministry, in my opinion, still could have its place just as Professor Snyder suggests. It might even be temporary. Just for a specific project. Considering our freedom in Christ, I would not be overly judgmental about a specific ministry undertaken by others. "

      I totally agree that personal service is preferred, but there are instances in the NT like Paul collecting support for the Jerusalem saints.

      I also would underscore the temporary aspect. This is exactly why Snyder proposed that the organizations should be relegated to the category of para church instead of being viewed AS the church. They could be set in place as needed to serve a purpose and be flexible, where the church itself in essence as the community of God's people is a permanent reality that does not change in character.

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