Church vs. Parachurch part II

Charlie wrote: Christ came to build his church and that is what he charged his apostles to do, but i argue that what is being described as “the church” is limited to to “the local church/es”. i can only comment on my experience at louisville, but this parachurch of ccc has fueled many local churches with students who know how to share their faith (something that many adults seldom if ever do), they know how to study the scriptures, they can disciple and be discipled, and they know what community and fellowship applied look like, and they know how to give. in parachurch ccc at uofl i have never sensed an us verses them, cru verses the church mentality. i have, on the other hand noticed an us verses them mentality of “local church” verses “local church.” CCC is targeting the young and so-called ’emerging’ generations. 50 years ago, CCC…

Continue Reading

Read Charlie’s remarks below in the comments area

Charlie’s post is a great dissenting viewpoint, which I don’t necessarily disagree with. Is there an “us vs. them” mentality? Or is it, as I would argue, a “this vs. that” mentality? We’re not talking about different groups of people, but which methods and principles best organize the people who are already believers to engage the culture for the Great Commission?

Campus Crusade vs. the Local Church: my evaluation

Thanks for the comments guys. I think there are tremendous advantages to the parachurch, but on the whole, the campus ministry variety is a dying class. But first, the good news. Here’s are some advantages of parachurch ministry: 1. Scope: Singular commitment to a particular vision that has the muscle to reach a larger scope.The local church is at a disadvantage because its scope is going to be, by definition, limited to a particular community. 2. Ecumenism: Since CCC doesn’t focus on doctrines that can tend to divide, it can sweep up a large number of laborers into the umbrella for the purposes of evangelism, while leaving the doctrinal concerns under the purview of their specific churches. 3. Unhindered Focus: CCC can legitimately target those who would be ‘leaders’ while not giving  much attention to those who are less fortunate. That means CCC will generally focus on the educated, the…

Continue Reading

Discussion Topic: what do you think of the parachurch?

2 weeks ago i went to Colorado for Campus Crusade for Christ’s staff conference that happens every other year (does that make it biannual?). This is a big pep rally to get excited about CCC. While I was there, i found myself being more and more grateful that I am headed primarily into church ministry. Strange, though, at a place where i should feel most connected and excited about Crusade I found myself dreaming more and more about church. I will post more on this later, but I’d love some reactions from you.

demolition and construction

We finally redid our bathroom floor after a long bout with procrastination. The looming dread of another busy fall semester proved to be the cure. Before: Demolition: (the part that I’m really good at) The detail work: (the part that i really suck at. evidently, patience is a handy tool in such endeavors) The finished product: We had to actually destroy the floor down the the joists and install a new subfloor which would be perfectly level (thanks dad). I think i must have left a screwdriver under the subfloor, though, because my perfectly level subfloor somehow developed a bubble after applying the mortar. Fortunately, i didn’t notice this until the mortar dried so i had no choice but to leave it be. Otherwise, i would have felt obligated to pull the subfloor back up and level it, which would have ruined a perfectly aggravating day.

Take a deep breath

After spending a day and a night in Cincinnati, its time to take a deep breath and evaluate. We liked the city a great deal, and were able to connect with some great dudes who showed us around the town. We really liked the east end of town, in particular the Oakley, Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Norwood areas, which are pretty diverse culturally, economically, racially, and so on. A church in the middle of all this should be able to draw UC kids (a big plus) but also poor, rich, and a large swath geeks, sluts, motorheads, dorks, dweebies… (please tell me you’re not too young to catch this movie reference…) Here’s a picture of the skyline taken from N Ky. Beautiful. I took a bajillion pictures of the different neighborhoods and also pictures of the map to keep them separate. Laura made fun of me. I don’t care. So…

Continue Reading

Writing your own marriage vows

Laura and I wrote our own marriage vows when we got married. We thought it would be cool to do something different. I never really questioned that until I read this in World Magazine by David Blankenhorn. I think it’s better for couples to use the vows of their faith community, rather than make up their own. If you make up your own vows, the not-so-subtle message is that the couple is bigger than the vow—the couple, in that sense, is the God of their marriage. But isn’t it more true and beautiful to say that the vow is bigger than the couple? That the vow makes the couple, rather than the other way around? I wish more ministers who officiate marriages would insist that the couple, in this sense, try to conform to the vow rather than imagining that they are creating the vow. — from World Magazine, August…

Continue Reading

Why Cincinnati?

This is a question that I’ve been asked a lot lately. To be honest, I have no friggin’ clue. When I drive through the city on my way to Cleveland, I like it. It’s big. There’s lots of non-believers there. It’s a city. It’s close to grandparents. It’s close to Louisville. It has a river running through the middle of it. There’s roads and neighborhoods and people people people. There’s black people there. There’s white people there. There’s poor people there. There’s rich people there. There’s liberals there. There’s Nader worshipers there. There’s a road named after Ronald Reagen there. One of the most wicked places imaginable was ancient Ninevah, part of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were exceedingly violent and wicked people, who tortured the people they captured in conquest and skinned them alive, stacking heads on pikes to parade through the cities and raping at will. God loved…

Continue Reading

Dreaming about Church Planting…

My dad asked me the other day, “why plant a new church when so many churches already exist?” Great question. Tim Keller, one of my heroes, answers the question here: But the less spiritual answer would be this: so many churches are entrenched in turf wars and tradition and protectionism (which is not the sole domain of the old fundamentalists), it would be extremely difficult to find the right kind of church, in the right location, with the right kind of people, who are teachable and eager to be led. Thus, plant a new church, with a fresh vision (not a reactionary vision), to: 1. reach people who are unchurched with a compelling vision of Christ and not gimmicks 2. build a community of people committed to Christ, each other, and the Great Commission 3. develop a network of other churches (and new plants!) who will strategically spread out throughout…

Continue Reading