Monday, February 16, 2004

parachurch and the future of denominations

I just got back from having ice tea With Kevin. Kevin is another intellectual. His mind is active it good to have tea with other active minds. I suppose coffee would work as well but coffee ranks with onions as worst foods on my planet. Ice tea is a good substitute. Starbucks has great ice tea. But to the point.

We talked about a number things regarding theology, God, the Trinity, Image of God, history of salvation, conservatives, gay marriage, and the like. Towards the end of our conversation I raised the idea that denominations will cease to exist in the next 50 years. Kevin does not think it will be that long. So this raises some questions. As TSA are we a church or a parachurch? I operate under the paradigm that TSA operates best when it functions as a parachurch. But regardless, how does the death of denominations effect TSA. How radically will our structure have change in order to continue in USA? Can we change our structure?

In the future people will not belong to only one faith community. They will belong to many. These may be local churches, friendships, internet based communities like: Emergent, Theooze, Next-Wave, ect. Or some other type of community. No longer will people be limited to one church. They go here on Sunday morning there on Sunday night and they get together with friends on Thursday. Fellow journeyers, we must be active in multiple communities. My current is 4 if I count all my online stuff as 1. If this is true then parachurches have a unique role in bringing together Multiple communities to effect change in their culture. Tutoring, sports, drug rehab, senior centers, feeding programs, homeless programs, computer training, daycares, domestic abuse shelters, and the like. This is where I see parachurches like TSA (the largest parachurch in the world) being active. For the most part our churches will close, those that don't will become independent communities, these officers who administrate these programs will function as chaplains, but will themselves be involved in various faith communities. TSA will not die but change we must. Otherwise we will think and act like something we are not.

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