Monday, January 22, 2007

Model 3: Self-Contained Parachurch

3) Self-contained Parachurch. The 'leadership' of the Campus ministry is comprised of full time workers whose accountibility is within that parachurch organisation on a regional and national level. This would be the Campus Crusade Model.

The advantages of this would be.
a) A clearly developed strategy can be multiplied nationwide independent of the strength of resources & leadership in the local churches.
b) The staff led approach bypasses the 'problems' of student leadership.

The Challeges of the model would include
a) The organisation in itself could end up ignoring the local church, or even seeing the local church as competition for students' time.
b) This might be the model that would need to be most careful to ensure that students are being disciples towards healthy church membership.
c) This might also have the most temptation for staff workers themselves not to be active accountible members of a local church. For staff workers who are the leaders of a parachurch organisation where evangelism & discipleship is happening outside of the context of the local church, this could end up holding out a model of discipleship that is individualistic rather than corporate.

Having said this, I do not think that this model automatically undermines the local church. You could have staff workers who themselves are great models of local church membership & involvement & who are encouraging students to be healthy church members themselves. So long as this ministry considers itself servants & partners to the local church & not an alternative to it, there is no reason why it couldn't be healthy.

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