Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.58.12 AMHave you ever wondered where hospitals came from? Christian men and women put their money together and built them. Why are there organizations like the Red Cross and YMCA? Christian men and women embraced God’s call on their lives to use their resources to care for the poor. Where did the idea come from to rescue children in crisis? Who is it that is standing up to save babies in the womb from being slaughtered? What about campus ministries reaching unsaved teens? These and the vast majority of ministries of compassion around the world come from Christians seeking to obey God. “So also the secular agencies of our time have inadvertently taken pages from the Bible and used them to create many of today’s charities.”

Why are there Christian para-church ministries all over the world seeking to care for the poor? The standard answer (which drives me nuts) is, “If the local church was doing its job, we would not need all those para-church ministries.” No! In the Bible, God gives a limited mission to the local church. He gives a much broader mission to Christians and Christian families. The local church is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry. Perhaps we need a better title than “para-church organizations,” but generally speaking these ministries are the result of proper jurisdictional thinking. These organizations were founded by passionate Christians and Christian families, voluntarily coming together to meet a need.

– Dr. Rob Rienow

READ MORE about how your church can equip Christians and Christian families for missional living in Limited Church: Unlimited Kingdom, Uniting Church and Family in the Great Commission.

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