Shouldn't our highest priority, after our personal relationship with Jesus, be our participation as the Bride of Christ; the local Ekklesia, the local assembly of Believers?
And shouldn't our priority be to apply everything the New Testament teaches about being the local assembly of Believers?
Shouldn't everything else flow from that?
Of course, when I speak of a local assembly of Christ, I'm not referring to the institutional organization - business franchise - "church growth" - Madison Avenue marketing - polished - affectatious - selling-a-product entity that calls itself a church.
Is there any commandment in the New Testament to create "para-church" organizations?
Turning a relationship with Jesus into a career path in an organization is the kind of fleshly ambition that causes many of these organizations to exist. The world of para-churches promotes this kind of worldly thinking: a corporation, career ladder "vision" for life.
A para-church organization will always be led by a hierarchical structure and is likely to be run by a CEO dictator who treats fellow brothers like employees or his personal staff. Of course, in many cases, since para-churches ARE businesses, the brothers ARE employees; the CEO has a personal staff.
Most clergyman, who lead most institutional church systems, cannot operate like a New Testament leader either. The clergy and the para-church leaders come out of the same institutional mind-set. The leader as dictator is from the world. These brothers seem to have no clue that the New Testament teaches that leaders in the Body of Christ are to be servants, not lords; examples, not dictators; and fellow brethren, not an elite class over the rest of us.
The concept of brothers as fellow elders and fellow decision makers is a foreign concept to them.
Some brothers, who have a zeal, might say that the "churches" have failed to minister and therefore I must step out to do what God has called me to do.
Does the end justify the means?
Has not our Lord Jesus already told us the means He has chosen to pursue His ends?
Has not our Lord chosen the Ekklesia of Christ?
Does not the New Testament tell us how the Ekklesia of Christ is to be led and how we are to function?
Shouldn't that be more important than evangelism or feeding the poor or "transforming lives"?
When someone is converted, are they converted into the Ekklesia of Christ or into the Parachurch? Do they become disciples of Jesus or of a para-church guru?
I certainly am not saying that every ministry must be in the context of a program of an (institutional) church.
The brethren come together to edify one another. We minister to the Body of Christ together and as individuals and we minister to the world together and as individuals.
Why can't we be co-workers in Christ, submitting one to another?