Question [from a pastor]: Just a quick note to thank you for your newsletter and your sound biblical teaching and to ask one question....It has been my conviction for some time now that the parachurch setup...is an unbiblical foundation for ministry. I am in no way questioning what you are doing, only the way you’re doing it, and am wondering if you have ever considered functioning solely under your own local church elders and as a ministry of whatever local church that is....There just seems to be no biblical basis for the parachurch ministry operating outside the one and only organization that Jesus Christ said He would build.
Response: I appreciate and agree to a large extent with many of your concerns regarding parachurch organizations. Some seem to be accountable only to themselves and to be in business for money. On the other hand, I don’t believe Jesus intended the church to be (as you seem to imply) an “organization.” It is a body of which He is head.
Nor did Jesus, when He told His disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” tell them that they must do so only under the auspices of a local church. Then was it to be under the church at large? What would that mean and how would it work?
Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” That would seem to apply to any group of believers gathered together in His name to serve Him and to propagate the gospel. Why could not a group of godly men establish a board and send out those under them for the Lord’s work? Wouldn’t that be under the authority of a “local church”? This is how missions around the world have functioned for centuries and I see nothing unbiblical about that in itself, so long as all they do is to the glory of our Lord and in obedience to His Word.
The Berean Call staff are under the direction of a board of godly men who control all assets, set the policies and direct the operation through the staff. I am only one of six board members, have only one vote, cannot vote on anything pertaining to myself, etc. They could vote me out at any time. No one on the board receives a salary; each of us serves on a volunteer basis. Our concern is that TBC fulfill God’s will for its existence.
It so happens in TBC’s case that two of the board members are elders in the local congregation which my wife and I attend, so perhaps that makes it closer to what you consider biblical. Thanks again for your concern.