What are Para-churches?
There are basically three different forms of parachurch organizations: Parachurches are small home groups, care groups, and fellowships unaffilh any organized church establishment, much like the primitive churches of the New Testament; Parachurches are also cell churches affiliated with larger, organized churches, designed to provide members with a smaller, more intimate environment; As incorporated institutions, they are also non-denominational, evangelical Christian organizations which collaborate for cross-denominational missions, evangelization, humanitarian aid, charitable services, outreach activities, and to lead individuals to Christ and to established churches. Popular among some of the larger organizations are Campus Crusade for Christ, Promise Keepers, Focus on the Family, Habitat for Humanity, the Gideons, and the Billy Graham Crusade. Regradless of size, common among parachurch groups is their autonomous, self-governing independence. Generally, they do not conform to the traditional structures of weekly church services, but focus on the daily necessities of the Christian life (physical and spiritual) and work as a supplementary aid both inside and outside of the church at large. Following are links to larger, mostly non-profit parachurch organizations on the web, including one or two televangelist media outlets.
"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' " Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."
"Alcoholics Anonymous� is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety... Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem... Professionals often refer to alcoholism and drug addiction as �substance abuse� or �chemical dependency.� Alcoholics and nonalcoholics are, therefore, sometimes introduced to A.A. and encouraged to attend A.A. meetings. Anyone may attend open A.A. meetings. But only those with a drinking problem may attend closed meetings. A.A. members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service or "sponsorship" to the alcoholic coming to A.A. from any source. The A.A. program, set forth in our Twelve Steps, offers the alcoholic a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol."
American Center for Law & Justice
"You've discovered the online resources of the American Center for Law and Justice. Here you will learn that we are: Protecting the US Constitution; Protecting religious liberty; Fighting to protect life; And fighting to protect the religious rights of Americans. We have made every effort to provide here the information you need to understand your constitutional rights on a wide range of religious liberty issues. You can get more information by signing up for our
e-newsletter, and by listening to our daily radio program, "Jay Sekulow Live." We hope you will use these resources often, and stand with us as we stand for liberty. In 1990, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, a Yale law school graduate, religious leader, entrepreneur, and concerned citizen, decided to act to undo the damage done by almost a century of liberal thinking and activism. He founded the American Center for Law and Justice. The ACLJ, in just a few years, has become this nation's pre-eminent public interest law firm and educational organization dedicated to defending and advancing religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, and the two-parent, marriage-bound family. From the U.S. Supreme Court to local school boards, lawyers of the ACLJ have been defending the rights of believers, standing up for the unborn, the elderly and the infirm, and reasserting the primary rights of parents and the centrality of the family... The ACLJ engages in litigation, provides legal services, renders advice and counsels clients, and supports attorneys who are involved in defending the religious and civil liberties of Americans. The American Center has a national network of attorneys who are committed to the defense of Judeo-Christian values. We also cooperate with other organizations that are committed to a similar mission, and serve the public through educational efforts regarding First Amendment and religious freedom issues as well as pro-family and pro-life concerns. As a nonprofit organization that does not charge for its legal services, the American Center for Law and Justice is dependent upon God and the resources He provides through the time, talent, and gifts of people who share our concerns over the erosion of our religious and civil liberties."
The American Family Association
"AFA is for people who are tired of cursing the darkness and who are ready to light a bonfire. We are a non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization founded in 1977 by Don Wildmon. The American Family Association represents and stands for traditional family values, focusing primarily on the influence of television and other media � including pornography � on our society. AFA believes that the entertainment industry, through its various products, has played a major role in the decline of those values on which our country was founded and which keep a society and its families strong and healthy. For example, over the last 25 years we have seen the entertainment industry "normalize" and glorify premarital sex. During that time we have suffered a dramatic increase in teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and abortion as a means of birth control. We believe in holding accountable the companies which sponsor programs attacking traditional family values. We also believe in commending those companies which act responsibly regarding programs they support. AFA supporters receive a monthly letter about a specific issue with a recommended action such as sending a postcard or making a phone call. In addition, supporters receive the AFA Journal with news on various moral and family issues."
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions
"Rescue missions comprise the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, formerly the International Union of Gospel Missions (IUGM), which was founded in 1913. As measured by annual revenue, the 294 Association member RESCUE missions would be the sixth largest nonprofit organization in the United States. RESCUE missions provide emergency food and shelter, youth and family services, rehabilitation programs for the addicted, education and job training programs and assistance to the elderly poor and at-risk youth. AGRM's Code of Ethics: 1. I will conduct my personal and ministry life in a way that will not bring shame or reproach to the name of the Lord. This includes relationships with other employees, clients, and other ministries. (I Peter 1:14-16); 2. I will live a self-controlled, upright and godly life in keeping with the Scriptures. (Titus 2:11-14); 3. I will recognize and respect what the Lord is doing through other individuals and organizations and will refrain from criticism or involvement unless illegal, unethical, or immoral behavior is suspected and will follow the standards of Matthew 18 whenever possible (I Peter 3:8-9); 4. I will honor my financial, legal, and moral obligations both personally and in my role in ministry to family, vendors, neighbors, community and government. (Romans 13:7-8); 5. In matters of dispute with other Christians, I will submit my grievances to Christian arbitration, rather than to the courts, and if disagreements come between two missions, I will agree that the AGRM should serve in an arbitration and reconciliation role, also pass it by legal counsel. (I Cor. 6:1-8); 6. In issues of fundraising I will ascribe to the Standards for Fundraising of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)."
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
"The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association believes: The Bible to be the infallible Word of God, that it is His holy and inspired Word, and that it is of supreme and final authority; In one God, eternally existing in three persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He led a sinless life, took on Himself all our sins, died and rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the Father as our mediator and advocate; That all men everywhere are lost and face the judgment of God, and need to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through His shed blood on the cross; That Christ rose from the dead and is coming soon; In holy Christian living, and that we must have concern for the hurts and social needs of our fellowmen; We must dedicate ourselves anew to the service of our Lord and to His authority over our lives; In using every modern means of communication available to us to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world."
Boy Scouts of America National Council
"The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Scout Law: A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent. The Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the future Scouting will continue to: Offer young people responsible fun and adventure; Instill in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law; Train young people in citizenship, service, and leadership; Serve America's communities and families with its quality, values-based program."
Campus Crusade for Christ International
"Campus Crusade for Christ International is an interdenominational ministry committed to helping take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. We cooperate with millions of Christians from churches of many denominations and hundreds of other Christian organizations around the world to help Christians grow in their faith and share the Gospel message with their fellow countrymen. Working together with these fellow believers, our goal for this decade is to help give every man, woman, and child in the entire world an opportunity to find new life in Jesus Christ. Our commitment is based on our Lord's command: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (NAS) Our desire is to serve you. As you are on the Internet, please let us know about your desire to learn more about the Christian life and the power of our risen Savior and Lord by contacting us. "But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about Me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection." Acts 1:8 (LB)"
"Catholic Charities is in the work of transforming lives. The organization strives to empower the working poor to move beyond basic survival living to a state of meaningful, quality living through economic, family and emotional stability. Catholic Charities assists individuals and families to establish in their lives the anchors required to break the cycle of poverty. These anchors include housing, employment, education and emotional health."
Child Evangelism Fellowship
"For almost 70 years God has been using Child Evangelism Fellowship to bring the love of Jesus Christ to children around the world. The Word of God puts a high priority on children. They are near to God's heart and we believe that He is uniquely concerned about their spiritual welfare. Without the foundation of a relationship with God and training in Biblical principles for life they are unequipped to face what life will throw at them. With workers in more than 150 countries around the world CEF has personal, individual ministry with more than 5 million children each year. God has given us a passion to not only bring children into a right relationship with God, but to disciple them in His Word and establish them in Bible teaching churches so that they can become mature in their faith."
Christ for all Nations
"Maseru, Lesotho. The destination in 1969 of a young German missionary, his wife Anni and their baby son. The place where it all began as God shaped a young man of faith and began to mold the �character of faith� in him that would later challenge the devil across the entire continent of Africa and scores of still undreamed of places beyond. Reinhard and Anni Bonnke spent seven long years in Maseru, doing the work of missionaries in the traditional way. But during those years the call to evangelism that burned in his soul took wings, until by repeated miracles and moves of the Holy Spirit, literally millions of men and women across the world have heard the good news of the Gospel through his anointed ministry. In those early days in Lesotho, God showed Reinhard a vision of a �blood-washed Africa.� Even though at that time there was little or no evidence in his ministry that such a grand idea was even remotely possible, Reinhard took hold of the vision and in Jesus� name began to speak it and live it. In 1974 the evangelistic organization that is today still known as �Christ for all Nations�, was born and a small team gathered around the young evangelist to reach out to the peoples of Africa. The preaching of the Word began to produce a harvest of souls and in addition to this, people were being healed of all kinds of diseases... Open-air crusades became the order of the day as hundreds of thousands flocked to every meeting. In one particular crusade held in Lagos, Nigeria, 1,600,000 people came to a single meeting with a total of six million attending the five days of services. The ministry team moved from East Africa to West Africa and back again as the two, now separate, technical and support teams, organized events on opposite sides of the continent of Africa. Since the beginning of this evangelistic ministry, Reinhard Bonnke has preached face to face to multiplied millions of people in Africa alone, and of that vast number, over twenty eight million responded to the call of salvation by filling out decision cards and were ushered into the church follow-up program... As news of what God was doing went ahead of the team, the reception in many places began to change. Some closed their doors to the prospect of such active Christianity but many more opened up gladly. People in high places also began to take note of the huge crowds and the positive impact that the Gospel was having, and Reinhard Bonnke soon found that he was being asked to meet State Presidents and to address Houses of Parliament. Many leading national figures opened their own hearts to the message of the Gospel while meeting privately with Reinhard and to date, he has personally met with fourteen different State Presidents in Africa, and counts a number of them as personal friends."
Christian Aid Ministries (CAM)
" Christian Aid sends financial help to over 700 evangelistic ministries based in lands of great poverty or where evangelical Christians are a persecuted minority. Priority is given to supporting those which work among unreached peoples where hitherto our Lord has had no people for His name... The 700 native missions assisted by Christian Aid are located mainly in the poorest places on earth and are continually surrounded by human suffering which they cannot ignore... Foreign missionary programs by Protestant churches evolved during the colonial era of the 19th century and became a cherished tradition during the 20th century. Most denominations and many independent churches tended to follow a standardized formula of "going and sending," believing that their activities were ordained by God. Most political colonialism ended after World War II, but missionary colonialism was greatly increased, especially by evangelicals and fundamentalists, doing some good but also causing great harm to Christian witness in many parts of the world... Dr. Finley�s goal is to have a part in planting a witness for the name of our Lord among every unreached people group on earth. For nearly half a century, Christian Aid Mission has served as a link between believers in industrialized nations and native missionaries from poorer countries around the world. Part of the work of Christian Aid is to tell the stories of the native missionaries, to tell about the dedication, effectiveness, and sacrifice of our brothers and sisters around the world. Christian Aid�s other work is to raise awareness about our part, as believers in more affluent countries, in the work of indigenous missions. Today, Christian Aid through the generous help of Christians who love the Lord�is sending help to more than 700 ministries that deploy over 90,000 missionaries on the field. They are reaching over 3,000 tribes and nations, who have their own language, with the gospel. At least 5,000 more groups have written to Christian Aid, pleading for help. Native missionaries are hard at work around the world, laboring at great sacrifice for the Lord with very limited resources. At Christian Aid we believe each of us can help them spiritually and financially in some way, whether that help is large or small."
The Christian Broadcasting Network
"The mission of CBN and its affiliated organizations is to prepare the United States of America and the nations of the world for the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Our ultimate goal is to achieve a time in history when "the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." In achieving our mission our chief method is the strategic use of all forms of mass communication and the conduct of education that will train the young and old to understand how the principles of the Kingdom of God relate to those spheres of human endeavor that play a dominant role in our world. In achieving our mission nothing should be done that does not glorify God and His Son, Jesus Christ... Forty years ago, one could have reasonably suggested that Pat Robertson was stretching his imagination when he named his broadcasting organization, located in a defunct Portsmouth, Virginia, TV station, The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Not only was CBN the first Christian television station in Virginia, it was also the first in the nation. Forty years later, no one can dispute that CBN is one of the largest television ministries in the world. Moreover, with its many subsidiary and affiliate organizations, CBN goes beyond the bounds of broadcasting in its mission to reach the world with a message of hope from the Bible... Today CBN is a multifaceted nonprofit organization that provides programming by cable, broadcast and satellite to approximately 180 countries, with a 24-hour telephone prayer line. Chief among CBN's broadcasting components is The 700 Club, a daily television program featuring Pat Robertson, Terry Meeuswen, and Gordon Robertson. On the air continuously since 1966, The 700 Club is one of the longest-running programs in broadcast history. Seen in 96% of the television markets across the United States, the show's news/magazine format presents a lively mix of information, interviews, and inspiration to an average daily audience of one million viewers."
Christian Coalition of America
"Thank you for visiting the Christian Coalition of America's website. You have come to the home of the largest and most active conservative grassroots political organization in America. The Christian Coalition of America offers people of faith the vehicle to be actively involved in shaping their government - from the County Courthouse to the halls of Congress. Today, Americans are bombarded with countless political messages from across the ideological spectrum. Because of this, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate truth from fiction and right from wrong. The Christian Coalition of America is committed to representing the pro-family agenda and educating America on the critical issues facing our society. Whether it is the fight to end Partial Birth Abortion, efforts to improve education, or lowering the tax burden placed on families; the Christian Coalition stands ready and able to work for you. Our hallmark work lies in voter education. Prior to the November election the Christian Coalition of America distributed a record 70 million voter guides throughout all 50 states. These non-partisan guides gave voters a clear understanding of where various candidates stood on the issues important to them. With this knowledge, millions of voters went to polls ready to make their voices heard. Our efforts, however, do not stop with voter guides. We actively lobby Congress and the White House on numerous issues, hold grassroots training schools around the country, host events that draw thousands of pro-family supporters from around the nation, and organize community activists regarding issues facing their local government. If you are interested in having a positive pro-family impact on your government, the Christian Coalition of America is your organization."
The Christian Missions Network
"Most web pages are out there to get information out to the public about some product, idea or business. On the Internet you can surf from place to place without being known if you like. You can get information from a source, leave, and nobody would ever know who you were. This is creating an environment where people can be anonymous. You can do that on this page, but if you choose to interact with us, we will try to be different. With that we endeavor to: 1) If you send us a prayer request, we will lift it up in prayer. If it is a missions related prayer request we will put it on the prayer request page. If it is not missions related, we will send it to the appropriate mailing list that deals with prayer requests. 2) If you write us and ask us a question, we will try to answer your question as soon as possible or at least send your question on to someone who might be able to answer it. 3) If you feel the Lord calling you into missions, we will do everything we can to help you get in contact with the mission agency the Lord wants you to go with. Even though this page is sponsored by SIM, we know not everyone is called to go with us. It is our ambition to serve the greater community by helping all mission agencies and denominational mission boards. 4) We also endeavor to model good Christian behavior on the Internet and use this page to lift up the name of our Lord and to tell the unfolding story of God's love for the nations. In short, this web site is much more than an information tool on missions or a promotional tool of SIM. This web page is a ministry of SIM and our Lord Jesus Christ, and we're here to take some of the impersonal aspects out of the web and help you or your church."
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
"ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public�s trust through adherence to seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship. Founded in 1979, it is comprised of over 1,100 charitable, religious, missionary, social, and educational tax-exempt, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. ECFA�s Standards of Responsible Stewardship focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fund-raising, and proper use of charity resources. Compliance with the Standards is monitored in three ways. First, all ECFA members must annually submit membership review information including audited financial statements, IRS Form 990 (if applicable), salary information, fund-raising appeals, board composition, changes in organizing documents, and much more to verify compliance with the Standards. Second, ECFA conducts on-site field reviews at over 10% of its membership each year. These field reviews serve to verify the information submitted in the annual membership review, confirm compliance with the ECFA membership Standards, and give support to the member organizations. To date, approximately 750 organizations have received an on-site review. Third, ECFA responds to complaints against member organizations. All such complaints are investigated thoroughly in order to determine possible noncompliance with the Standards. ECFA provides several services to the donor public as well. Disclosure requirements enable donors to request and receive audited financial statements for all ECFA members. ECFA�s website contains a membership directory with selected financial information of all its members, guidelines for giving, the Donor�s Bill of Rights, and general information helpful to the giving public. In addition, ECFA staff provides information to donors on a variety of issues. Through its publications and services, ECFA informs its members of current administrative, financial, fund-raising, legislative, postal, and promotional matters of common concern."
"Focus on the Family began in 1977 in response to Dr. James Dobson's increasing concern for the American family. James C. Dobson, Ph.D., is founder, former president and chairman of the board of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization that produces his internationally syndicated radio programs heard daily on more than 3,000 radio facilities in 12 languages in more than 95 other countries. Our Mission: To cooperate with the Holy Spirit in disseminating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, and, specifically, to accomplish that objective by helping to preserve traditional values and the institution of the family... Since Focus on the Family's primary reason for existence is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a practical outreach to homes, we have firm beliefs about both the Christian faith and the importance of the family. This ministry is therefore based upon five guiding philosophies that are apparent at every level throughout the organization. These "pillars" are drawn from the wisdom of the Bible and the Judeo-Christian ethic, rather than from the humanistic notions of today's theorists. In short, Focus on the Family is a reflection of what we believe to be the recommendations of the Creator Himself, who ordained the family and gave it His blessing. We believe that the ultimate purpose in living is to know and glorify God and to attain eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, beginning within our own families and then reaching out to a suffering humanity that does not know of His love and sacrifice. We believe that the institution of marriage was intended by God to be a permanent, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman, regardless of trials, sickness, financial reverses or emotional stresses that may ensue. We believe that children are a heritage from God and a blessing from His hand. We are therefore accountable to Him for raising, shaping and preparing them for a life of service to His Kingdom and to humanity. We believe that human life is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the unborn, the aged, the widowed, the mentally handicapped, the unattractive, the physically challenged and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from conception to the grave. We believe that God has ordained three basic institutions - the church, the family and the government - for the benefit of all humankind. The family exists to propagate the race and to provide a safe and secure haven in which to nurture, teach and love the younger generation. The church exists to minister to individuals and families by sharing the love of God and the message of repentance and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. The government exists to maintain cultural equilibrium and to provide a framework for social order."
The Gideons International
"The Gideons International, founded in 1899, serves as an extended missionary arm of the church and is the oldest Christian business and professional men's association in the United States of America. A board of distinguished Christian laymen, international in makeup, supervises the worldwide Gideon ministry, ensuring an efficient, economical operation. The association has more than 236,000 members, located in 179 countries of the world. They are united in carrying out the same program using the same methods to accomplish the one objective of winning others to Christ. The emergence of more than 2,000,000 readers in the world each week creates an unprecedented need for reading material. This offers a challenge to Christians to supply the tremendous void by making available God's Word. This is a primary function of The Gideons, placing and distributing Bibles and New Testaments in the human traffic lanes and streams of national life. Gideons as laymen, stand shoulder to shoulder as "missionaries" of local churches and their pastors in going to the four corners of the world to win others for the Lord Jesus Christ. Annually, The Gideons International is placing and distributing more than 59,000,000 Scriptures worldwide. To God be the glory! This averages one million copies of the Word of God placed every seven days, or 112 per minute! A non-profit organization, The Gideons International is generously supported by pastors and churches, who realize that presenting people with the gospel message is an indispensable element in winning people to Christ. Every dollar contributed by members of the churches is used to make it possible for others to have their very own copy of God's Word."
Habitat for Humanity International
"Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety. Habitat has an open-door policy: all who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. Habitat for Humanity has always had a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion, and we welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds. The work of Habitat for Humanity is driven by the desire to give tangible expression to the love of God through the work of eliminating poverty housing. Habitat's mission and methods are predominantly derived from a few key theological concepts: the necessity of putting faith into action, the "economics of Jesus" and the "theology of the hammer." Habitat's ministry is based on the conviction that to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ we must reflect Christ's love in our own lives by loving and caring for one another. Our love must not be words only -- it must be true love, which shows itself in action. Habitat provides an opportunity for people to put their faith and love into action, bringing diverse groups of people together to make affordable housing and better communities a reality for everyone. When people act in response to human need, giving what they have without seeking profit or interest, we believe God magnifies the effects of our efforts. Habitat refers to this perspective as "the economics of Jesus." Together, the donated labor of construction volunteers, the support of partner organizations and the homeowners' "sweat equity" make Habitat's house-building possible. By sharing resources with those in need, Habitat volunteers and supporters have made decent, affordable housing a reality for more than 175,000 families worldwide. Habitat is a partnership founded on common ground -- bridging theological differences by putting love into action. Everyone can use the hammer as an instrument to manifest God's love. Habitat Founder and President Millard Fuller calls this concept "the theology of the hammer," explaining, "we may disagree on all sorts of other things... but we can agree on the idea of building homes with God's people in need, and in doing so using biblical economics: no profit and no interest." Habitat for Humanity welcomes all people to build with us in partnership. "The Bible teaches that God is the God of the whole crowd," explains Fuller. "God's love leaves nobody out, and my love should not either. This understanding drives 'the theology of the hammer' around the world, steadily building more and more houses in more and more countries." "
Hartford Institute for Religion Research - Parachurch Groups
"This section focuses on the many groups and organizations that cooperate with denominations and congregations as partners or a resource for specific ministry and mission goals. These organizations, whether formal and informal, for profit or nonprofits, public governmental or private ventures, go by many titles. These parachurch groups, non-profits, special purpose and single-interest based organizations are the subject of this section. Contained here are articles on these groups and their interactions with denominations and congregations as well as links to the homepages of many of these groups."
ICL Parachurch Ministries Web Directory
"These web sites will connect you with a multitude of organizations in ministries around the world."
International Fellowship of Evangelical Students
"In 1946 leaders of student movements in ten countries met together in Oxford, England. The countries represented were Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and USA. In 1947 IFES was formed in Harvard, USA. Why? To work and pray for a witness to Christ in every university in the world. As new movements affiliate to the worldwide IFES family, they share in this privileged task. IFES is a fellowship of students, staff and supporters: a third of a million people with one goal - to bring glory to God by establishing a vibrant gospel witness among students in every nation. We are now working in 150 countries. There has been almost unimaginable growth in the past 15 years, but we still have some of the toughest places ahead. We are an evangelical movement, committed to a high view of Scripture - its preaching, teaching and study. We seek to help students recognise the Lordship of Christ in every aspect of life and thought. Staff aim to provide biblical models of leadership and of ministry, where possible encouraging students themselves to take leadership responsibility on campus. All IFES national movements seek to present a culturally-relevant witness to Christ, working in close partnership with the Church in their country, wherever that is possible. National movements all share the following three major objectives: Evangelism - proclaiming Jesus Christ as Saviour, Lord and God to students in every country in the world, and leading students to personal faith in Christ; Formaci�n* - promoting a life of discipleship and a growing maturity among students associated with our movements, and equipping them for a lifetime of service in the family, church and society; World Mission - encouraging students to take the good news of Jesus Christ to every nation on earth, and become witnessing communities of salt and light in every area of society and culture. * Formaci�n is the Spanish word for nurture or discipleship-training."
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
"InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA� is an evangelical campus mission serving more than 35,000 students and faculty on more than 560 college and university campuses nationwide. Incorporated in 1941, InterVarsity has a rich tradition of campus witness, thoughtful discipleship, and a concern for world missions. In response to God's love, grace and truth: The Purpose of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is to establish and advance at colleges and universities witnessing communities of students and faculty who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord: growing in love for God, God's Word, God's people of every ethnicity and culture and God's purposes in the world. Our movement began with students at the University of Cambridge, England in 1877. There, a group of Christian students began to meet together, in spite of the disapproval of some University officials, to pray, to study the Bible and to witness to fellow students. Soon, similar groups sprung up on other campuses. Eventually, they formed the British Inter-Varsity. (Hence our name, inter - meaning between, varsity - the British term for college level students.) From the very beginning they had a strong concern to take the gospel to those all over the world who had never heard it - a concern that continues in InterVarsity today."
Jesus to the World Mission
"Mass Miracle Crusades are a creation of God � not an invention of man � as the events, detailed in the book of Acts, prove to us. Jesus regularly spoke to enormous crowds of people. In the Gospel of John it says, "...a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased." Jesus is the same today as He was then. During the crusades every human being, who hears the pure and living Gospel and receives the anointing, experiences revival in his heart. Every soul who hears the call of God and turns to Jesus Christ enters into personal salvation. Even when tens of thousands come to the crusades, the people experience salvation individually, how could it be otherwise? As I am praising the Lord for the wonderful breakthroughs we repeatedly experience in the nations of the "Third World", I ask myself this one question: Will we ever experience something comparable in the United States, Canada, Great Britain or Europe? Surely we will not, if we try to confine God's move to the boundaries of our church or denomination. But if we come together in unity, as one body, we will then share in the same revival which "multitudes" have experienced in other parts of the world. For my part I am prepared to serve the Lord in Washington, Ottawa, London or Berlin in the same way I already serve Him in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It's time for revival! Evangelist Andreas Huebner"
"MinistryWatch is an online database with profiles on more than 400 of the largest church and parachurch ministries in the United States. It is also a place where you can learn about how to be a "responsible giver". We hope that by providing high quality research and ratings we will be a vital component in an emerging ministry marketplace, where information regarding various giving opportunities can be easily and efficiently transferred to eager, prepared donors. Lord willing, these efforts will stimulate the adoption of best practices and encourage progress and innovation within the world of Christian ministries as donors become interested in the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. The site is constantly growing as we continue to collect information and materials to help you make better informed decisions in the area of giving. It lets you quickly and conveniently find information on ministries which interest you - allowing you to identify whom you want to support. MinistryWatch is a growing community of donors, Christian foundations, ministries, ministry board members, financial advisers and other interested parties. Most of all, MinistryWatch facilitates the practical expression of one's stewardship calling by creating an environment that promotes increasing confidence in, and generosity towards, the Lord's causes. MinistryWatch is a program of Wall Watchers."
National Coalition of Men's Ministries
"The National Coalition of Men�s Ministries (NCMM) is an organization that is uniquely postured to help equip the local church for ministry to men like never before. This new and dynamic organization is an unprecedented collaboration of over 20 denominations, representing more than 200,000 churches, and most of the para-church men�s ministries. The NCMM goal is to assist the local church in reaching men, to encourage them to pursue God and ultimately help the local church equip their men for spiritual service in their home, church, workplace, community and world. Never before has there been so many diverse organizations working together and pooling resources for a common purpose. It is part of the next wave in what is obviously a national awakening of ministry to men in America and ultimately around the world."
National Religious Broadcasters
"NRB is an international association of Christian communicators with over 1700 member organizations representing millions of viewers, listeners, and readers. The Association exists to represent the Christian broadcasters� right to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. All Members subscribe to the NRB Statement of Faith and Code of Ethics in their business practices: a) I will conduct my personal life corporate ministry, and business affairs in a way that will not bring shame or reproach to the name of the Lord or the NRB or its members. Rather, I will speak to bring glory and pleasure to our Lord and encourage others to do likewise. [1 Peter 1:14-16, 2:12, 4:11] b) I will speak the truth in love. [Ephesians 4:1-16] c) I will recognize and respect what the Lord is doing through other individuals and organizations while refraining from unnecessary criticism of them. [1 Peter 3:8,9] d) I will not use media to knowingly speak falsely against anyone. [Exodus 20:16] e) When I believe a fellow member has sinned against me or the Lord, or has violated this Code of Ethics, I will follow the principles and procedures set forth in God's word and in Article I of the Bylaws. [Matthew 18:15-17] f) I will honor my obligations to my vendors, neighbors, community and government. [Romans 3:7-8] g) In matters of dispute with other Christians, I will attempt to submit my grievances to Christian arbitration for resolution rather than to the courts of the land (1 Corinthians 6:1-8). Nothing herein shall be construed so as to prohibit a member from expressing his genuine concern to another brother in the spirit of love and in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17. NRB serves its members, the industry and the public by protecting ACCESS while promoting communications EXCELLENCE. NRB maintains rapport with the FCC, the broadcasting industry and government bodies through its Washington legal office contacts at Wiley, Rein & Fielding."
"Operation Mobilisation traces its roots to the prayers of an American housewife. In the 1950s, Dorothea Clapp began to pray faithfully for the students in her local High School. She asked God to touch the world through the lives of those young people. And God answered her prayers! Mrs Clapp gave a Gospel of John to one of the students, who later gave his life to the Lord at a Billy Graham meeting. That young man was George Verwer, the founder and international director of Operation Mobilisation. At college, George and two friends met regularly to pray. They became burdened by the spiritual needs of Mexico. In 1957 the three friends sold some of their own possessions to raise money and gave up their summer holiday to distribute Gospels and other Christian literature in Mexico. The friends returned the following summer and the next� When they graduated in 1960, George and his friends traveled to Europe. They began work in Spain, sharing the Gospel and distributing literature. But the task of reaching the whole of Europe seemed overwhelming. George and his small team realised that God�s plan was to mobilise His church to reach the nations. As they began to share their vision, hundreds of Christians responded. So Operation Mobilisation was born. By 1963, 2,000 Christians had joined summer outreach teams in Europe. At the same time, the first year teams moved into the Indian sub-continent and the Muslim world. Their commitment was to reach those who had never heard the Gospel. Such simple beginnings have shaped OM ever since. Today over 3000 OMers are working in 83 countries bringing God's unchanging truth to literally millions every year."
Prison Fellowship International
"Prison Fellowship International (PFI) is the global association of national Prison Fellowship (PF) organisations... The mission of Prison Fellowship is to mobilise and assist the Christian community in its ministry to prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims, and their families; and in the advancement of restorative justice. As an association, PFI provides support services to member organisations through its General Secretariat located in Washington DC, USA and four International Offices, which are located in Switzerland, South Africa, New Zealand, and Singapore... PFI member services include organisational and programme consultation, communications, leadership training, programme development, and international representation. As a non-governmental organisation (NGO), PFI maintains consultative status (Category II) with the UN Economic and Social Council and is an active participant in the UN Alliance of NGO�s on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice."
"A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God's Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises. A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity. A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values. A Promise Keeper is committed to supporting the mission of his church by honoring and praying for his pastor, and by actively giving his time and resources. A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity. A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (see Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19-20)."
"This Religious Broadcast Page seeks to achieve several objectives. First, it seeks to provide a gateway to Internet resources about religious broadcasting. We will begin with the simple goal of creating easy access links to the resources that broadcasters themselves have created. When that task is accomplished, we will attempt to identify other Internet commentary about religious broadcasting. Second, it will attempt to develop analytical resources that can contribute to serious study of religious broadcasting. Why have Evangelicals been so much more successful than any other group in the utilization of broadcasting? How did it happen? What has been the role of broadcasting in the development of Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism, the two most important religious movements of the twentieth century? What will be the likely impact of religious broadcasting as the world becomes increasingly one global community? ...A third objective is to create a forum for commentary about religious broadcasting. From the beginning, religious broadcasters have been controversial and that is unlikely to change. Coverage of religious broadcasting would not be comprehensive unless the controversy were addressed. We will present the sharp criticisms that both adversaries and sympathetic critics of broadcasters have leveled. In creating links to religious broadcasters, we are presenting religious broadcasting as broadcasters see themselves. In doing so we are not more an apologetic instrument for religious broadcasters than we are an advocate to their critics. We reserve the right to occasionally weight in on controversies, but our goal is not to take sides."
Religious Tolerance.Org - Para-Church Organizations
"Most Christian churches, from the third century CE to the present time, have been "program-based" organizations. Each is usually composed of one or more clergy, staff, volunteer committees and a large congregation. They conduct many programs during the week: from Scouts to Bible study; from choir practice to young adult meetings. The highlight of the week is the Sunday (or in some cases Saturday) service. And the highlight of that service is usually a member of the clergy preaching to the assembled congregation. That is what most people visualize when they hear the term "church." A second, recent and growing church model is composed of many "cells" - each with up to 15 adults and their children meeting in each other's homes. The cells are the focus of church life; the congregation as a whole is seen as a federation of many cells. The weekend service still exists, but it is much less important to the membership than the weekly, intimate cell meetings. They meet in homes "for fellowship, ministry, prayer and evangelism, while the large group meetings are designed for preaching and worship." Still a third model dispenses with the central church organization entirely, and consists of isolated home churches. There is no professional clergy preaching to an assembled congregation; rather, there are many independent groups of lay persons meeting together on a regular basis. They may meet in homes, apartments, parks, restaurants, halls, etc. They may or may not network informally with other home churches in their area. Their structure bears a strong resemblance to many covens within Neopagan religions."
Samaritan's Purse International Relief
"Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ... After World War II, Bob Pierce traveled throughout Asia as an evangelist and journalist with Youth For Christ. While on a university lecturing circuit in China, he stumbled across some courageous women who were living among lepers and orphans, sacrificing everything to share the love of Jesus Christ. Through their selfless love, God gave Pierce a vision for ministry. He dedicated himself to finding and supporting other such Christians who were caring for the poor and suffering in the distant corners of the world. In the summer of 1973, Bob Pierce met his eventual successor, an adventurous young student-Franklin Graham-with a growing heart for world missions. Intrigued by his many stories from the field, Franklin began to spend more and more time with the seasoned Christian statesman. In 1975, he accompanied Bob on a life-changing tour of some of the world�s neediest mission fields, where Franklin saw the poverty of pagan religions and the utter despair of the people they enslave. God had captured his heart for missions. In 1978, Bob Pierce died of leukemia, and nearly 18 months later, Franklin Graham became the President and Chairman of the Board of Samaritan's Purse. Through more than 20 years of earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, and famine, Franklin has led the ministry in following the biblical example of the Good Samaritan all across the globe. God has blessed the organization under Franklin's leadership, and the ministry has seen explosive growth. "Go and do likewise," Christ commanded after explaining the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. So we do. Samaritan's Purse travels the world�s highways looking for victims along the way. The work is often dangerous-as it was for the Samaritan-but the message we carry is much too important. We are quick to bandage the wounds we see, but the Samaritan didn�t stop there, and neither do we. In addition to meeting their immediate, emergency needs, we help these victims recover and get back on their feet. No matter where we go or what we do, though, we offer more than help. We offer hope. To suffering people in a broken world, we share the news of the only One who can bring true peace-Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace."
Traditional Values Coalition
"Traditional Values are based upon biblical foundations and upon the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, the writings of the Founding Fathers, and upon the writings of great political and religious thinkers throughout the ages. President George Washington, in his Farewell Address in 1796, said that popular government cannot exist without morality�and morality based upon biblical principles. In effect, he defined traditional values in these words: Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports�.And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. � Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure�reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. In short, Bible-based traditional values are what created and what have preserved our nation. We will lose our freedoms if we reject these values."
Trinity Broadcasting Network
"TBN is the world�s largest religious network and America�s most watched faith channel. TBN offers 24 hours of commercial-free inspirational programming that appeal to people in a wide variety of Protestant, Catholic and Messianic Jewish denominations. TBN features more original and exclusive programs than other faith channels. TBN is America�s most watched faith channel according to Nielsen Ratings. More Americans request TBN per Barna Research. Through TBN, viewers can attend services at America�s most dynamic churches! TBN�s popular PRAISE THE LORD program continues to inspire millions of viewers with faith-based interviews and testimonials from well-known ministers, celebrities and sports figures. TBN�s original theatrical released movies, OMEGA CODE, THE CHAMPION, MEGIDDO and many other movies bring excitement and adventure exclusively on TBN. In a world filled with wars, disasters, plagues, and political turmoil TBN helps viewers understand major world events. Medical doctors are featured on several popular weekly programs on TBN that teach Biblical concepts about nutrition and healthy lifestyles. TBN sizzles with contemporary Christian music! There�s music for all ages with styles ranging from Southern Gospel music to today�s hottest contemporary Christian singers. From muscle men to hot music videos, TBN gives young viewers Christian programming that speaks their language. Parents trust their children watching TBN. TBN�s children�s programs instill moral values in honesty, diligence, respect, and patriotic pride."
World Vision International
"World Vision International is a Christian relief and development organisation working for the well being of all people, especially children. Through emergency relief, education, health care, economic development and promotion of justice, World Vision helps communities help themselves. Established in 1950 to care for orphans in Asia, World Vision has grown to embrace the larger issues of community development and advocacy for the poor in its mission to help children and their families build sustainable futures. Working on six continents, World Vision is one of the largest Christian relief and development organisations in the world. The heart of World Vision's work is in helping communities build stronger and healthier relationships. The absence of such relationships impoverishes communities. World Vision focuses on children because they are the best indicator of a community's social health. When children are fed, sheltered, schooled, protected, valued, and loved a community thrives."
Wycliffe Bible Translators
"Wycliffe Bible Translators, USA is part of an international association of Wycliffe organisations comprising of over 5000 active members from 46 countries. Within the USA our role is to provide the links for churches here to help build the church around the world and give people access to the words of life. Already Wycliffe workers have helped to complete 500 translations, making God's Word available to more than 35 million people. This has always been done hand in hand with local communities. But now more than ever we are able to pass on our skills through partnership with churches and agencies worldwide. Wycliffe was founded in 1942 by William Cameron Townsend. A missionary to the Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala, Townsend caught the vision for translation after Cakchiquel-speaking men expressed their concern and surprise that God did not speak their language. Townsend resolved that every man, woman and child should be able to read God�s Word in their own language. Borrowing the name of the Reformation hero, John Wycliffe, who first translated the Bible into English, Townsend founded "Camp Wycliffe" in 1934 as a linguistics training school. By 1942, "Camp Wycliffe" had grown into two sister organizations, Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Today, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Wycliffe Bible Translators work together to translate Scripture, train field personnel in linguistics and promote interest in translation. Over 500 translations have been completed, and hundreds more are in the process. With God�s provision, Townsend�s vision will be realized."
YMCA.net (Young Men's Christian Association)
"YMCA mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Together, the nation's more than 2,500 YMCAs are the largest not-for-profit community service organizations in America, working to meet the health and social service needs of 18.9 million men, women and children in 10,000 communities in the United States. Ys are for people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages and incomes. No one is turned away for inability to pay. YMCAs' strength is in the people they bring together. Because all communities have different needs, all YMCAs are different. A YMCA in your community may offer child care or teen leadership clubs. A Y in the next town may have swimming lessons or drawing classes. Every Y makes its own decisions on what programs to offer and how to operate. YMCAs stretch beyond the United States. YMCAs are at work in more than 120 countries around the world, serving more than 45 million people. About 230 U.S. YMCAs maintain relationships with Ys in other countries. So the YMCA really does build strong kids, strong families and strong communities -- worldwide."
YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
"Eliminating racism, empowering women -- it's what we are about and what we intend to do. The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women's organization in the world. Across the globe, we have more than 25 million members in 122 countries, including 2 million members in 300 local associations in the United States. More important than the numbers, is our mission to eliminate racism and empower women. We provide safe places for women and girls, build strong women leaders, and advocate for women's rights and civil rights in Congress. Women come to us in times of crisis, as survivors of rape or domestic violence. They come for job training and career counseling. They come for childcare. They come for health and fitness. They come for a variety of reasons. But they come. And they leave with a renewed spirit, new skills, and stronger lives. Our formal mission statement: The YWCA USA is a women's membership movement nourished by its roots in the Christian faith and sustained by the richness of many beliefs and values. Strengthened by diversity, the YWCA draws together members who strive to create opportunities for women's growth, leadership, and power in order to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people. The YWCA will thrust its collective power toward the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary."
Youth With A Mission (YWAM)
"Youth With A Mission is an international movement of Christians from many denominations dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced "WYE-wam"), our calling is to know God and to make Him known. Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth into short-term mission work and to give them opportunities to reach out in Jesus' name. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people of almost every age (even many people who choose to spend their "retirement" in active service), from over 130 countries. Our many ministries fit into three main categories: evangelism, training and mercy ministry. We are currently operating in more than 900 locations in over 140 countries, with a staff of over 11,000."
"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."
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