Whatever Became of Church? (Part Two)

Editor's Note: This is the second of three blogs on the demise of a robust understanding of "church" in modern evangelical life. To read the first installment, click here.

The word "parachurch" is built off of two words: "para," which means "alongside of" and, of course, the word "church." As conceived, the parachurch is meant to serve "alongside" the church - not in place of the church or in competition with the church.

One could easily trace its roots to the early monastic movement and countless subsequent ministry endeavors since. Originally embraced as a way to enlarge the boundaries of God's work beyond the traditional church, it has often become a substitute entity; sometimes competitive, and occasionally antagonistic.

The role of the parachurch has loomed so large in certain circles that it has led some to speak of the "potential" partnership of the church and parachurch, as if it might be a nice option, which speaks for itself as to the devaluation of our ecclesiology.

Suffice it to say, there are many, many legitimate and even strategic parachurch ministries.

But there are also many that are not.
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