Saturday, 12 July 2008

'Parachurch' that loves the local church

While I was away on a Greek island on a UCCF summer team, I pondered our relation to the local church. We were seeking to witness to students, both from Greece (mainly Athens) and all over the world. There are 2 local evangelical English-speaking churches on Paros, but none of the students live on the island. We spoke to them of church where they came from for following up their interest, as well as recommending reading the Bible. Mostly, we spoke of Jesus. As a team, Jonathan Clark led us one morning in considering world mission through Ephesians 3.10: God's plan that through the church His manifold wisdom might be made universally known. I pondered that this could be neglected, with a tip-of-the-hat to the effect that 'we're all part of the universal church', or it could be overstretched as the single interpretative lens, so anything not exclusively the ministry / mission of one local church becomes suspect. And I return home to find that, as usual, Bish is thinking and expressing these things much better than me :) See his post, 'Parachurch' that loves the local church - and love your church!

2 comments:

dave bish said...

So, my beach supervisions cause you to stumble, and then you go doing summer teams on greek islands!! :)

Glad the paper was helpful.

étrangère said...

Hm, hope I'm not causing others problems! I was nominated to develop our new regional link with Greece, was pleased to be in another European country, enjoyed looking into Greek Orthodoxy to the extent that I feel the attraction of it, and obviously appreciated learning from the Clarks and Paula; but that heat makes me feel ill and I'm liable to get a headache in the sun. Believe me, I don't covet your south coast sun - just the sea!! I was as happy wading in the cold Irish sea on 28th June as I was floating in the Aegean to escape the heat, a week later :) Give me Irish beach missions where it pours with rain and the kids come down to the beach anyway, for Bible stories under waterproof parachutes...