I was doing some studying for a sermon and remembered reading Erwin McManus’ book An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God Had in Mind. Man, this stuff is still really, really good.
Check it out:
In many ways the emergence of the parachurch reflects the paralysis within the local church. When we stopped calling youth to the mission of Christ, Youth With A Mission emerged. When we ignored the opportunity to reach university students, Campus Crusade emerged. When we settled for church attendance and neglected discipleship, Navigators emerged. When we hesitated to call men to the role of spiritual leadership, Promise Keepers emerged. Yet while the parachurch was rallying and mobilizing men and women whose hearts were longing to serve Christ, it was at the same time accelerating the spiritual anemia and decline of the local church. The church became a fortress from the world rather than the hope of the world. This disconnnection from our present context exemplifies the need for holistic ministry. Seekers are looking for spiritual integration. This means that we must provide community with cause and meaning with healing. Having one without the other only leaves us fragmented. We must transform the fragments into a mosaic.
Where has the church gone wrong? When did we begin outsourcing mission to other agencies when only the Church can ever truly be the hope for the world? How can we once again become the church that God had in mind?