Friday, October 17, 2008

Para-Church: The Good, The Bad?

A short and interesting article about how the church, in general, drops the ball on college ministry and helping students to adulthood. So, in steps the para-church organization to help during college.

The question raised is: does this only pro-long the eventual detachment from the church? Especially if the para-church isn't connected to local churches...

In other words, we're both dropping the ball on helping young adults on adjusted to the "real world." The church drops the ball when teens graduate from high school, the para-church organizations drop the ball when they graduate from college.

What do you think?

2 comments:

hoosier reborn said...

Going through this right now. I just started a 20-somethings class at our church 4 wks ago...it is growing quickly, there's no space to meet and they want to invite their friends....almost drives the need for another location. Some are only coming for the class.

This groups needs to be connected back to the 30's+ members of the church for encouragement and guidance, just like I need to be connected to those older than I.

We are considering, however, in a few months to create a mid-week meeting time as outreach, at a downtown location....is this a para-church? Maybe, but not in place of Sunday morning.

Kurt

Twan said...

""Does this only prolong the eventual detachment from the church?" To this question, based on my experiences, I have to assume that the answer is yes.

Age-segregated ministry cannot help but catch up with itself eventually, when young people realize that they have been completely disconnected from the remainder of the Body of Christ their entire lives. So what is our response? Typically, we try to re-format the concept of children's ministry into other programs. First, it was youth ministry. Then college ministries...singles ministry, couples ministry, etc. Thus we continue to prolong the disconnect through the deception of unity within our particular generation, but it ALWAYS catches up with us.

Phil, you and I are both at an age now where these statistics are self-evident. Look around and try to find your generation in the church (short of the churches with the resources to program a community, which in itself is only pseudo-community apart from the rest of the Body). When will the fullness of the Body learn to minister to the world together through the foundation of Christ that we share? This is my prayer."