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If a ministry isn’t authorized by the local church, is it illegitimate?

Some Bible students try to support the belief that any ministry not instigated through a local church is illegitimate by the claim that only the local church has a biblical precedent for its existence through the planting and developing of churches as seen in Acts and the epistles. In other words, we do not see anyone in the Bible planting a para-church kind of ministry like the Navigators or Campus Crusade. The question is, does that mean they are not viable ministries that God uses? The same proponents of this mentality will do many things in their churches today that do not have a specific biblical precedent. A better question is, are there biblical principles that militate against any of the practices we engage in whether its in the function and methods used in a church or the establishment of some other kind of ministry? Are we carrying out biblical mandates and operating by clearly defined biblical truth? These are, as far as I can tell, the kind of issues we ought to consider.

A good illustration of institutions mightily used of God, but that in most cases were not begun by a local church, might be our seminaries. Most seminaries or Bible colleges were not begun or planted by a church, yet many of those who argue against parachurch organizations are graduates from a seminary or Bible college.

Related Topics: Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry

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