Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Podcast: "You are Not Alone: We > Me"

Here it is, my message from Saturday's Youth Explosion Conference. Download the Podcast. Thanks to all who offered technical advice on how to stream the audio.


At 12/01/2005 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Kruse said...

J, cool mp3.

Curious about taking Jesus words about building His church and applying them to personal calls/parachurch ministries.

When I read the passage you preached on (Who do you say I am passage) I see Jesus promising to “build His church.” What a verse man. I rest in that thought all the time as a missional church planter in Massachusetts. Jesus will build His church. Nothing can stop it. He’s allowing me to be involved in that building. Wow.

But are we free to apply that statement about the “church” to our own individual parachurch callings? To what degree can we co-opt that verse and say “Jesus will build my ministry; He promised!” I am talking about calls/ministries that are engaged completely outside of the context of the church. Like when you said something like “If I am building a ministry, I don’t want the kind of ministry that’s easily defeated by the forces of hell. So when Jesus makes a promise like this that we can be built on a rock, etc.” What is the meaning of ministry there?

Obviously you didn’t have time to flesh out the verses completely, but if you could have, would you have emphasized that this promise is not primarily/only for personal encouragement but for the universal purpose of Christ to build His church? And that if our ‘calling’ is done outside of the context of the church this promise doesn’t really apply? Or if it does, how?

Wondering what you/others think.

I preach every week and people are always giving me comments on one thing I said even if 99% was solid. So I’m not trying to do that here and be one of those annoying, gnat-straining, critical pains in the butt. I just know that you run with a lot of people on your blogroll who are doing great parachurch work and I love it and I think Jesus does too, but I fear that we can leave the heart of the matter, which is redemption of sinners into one people of God (aka the church), behind for our own thing and co-opt verses to say that Jesus has to bless it because He promised. Sometimes I want to say “no, He didn’t say that. But His church is still being built, because that’s what He promised.”

Tangent, but if you need money for Generation Xcel, just have your bride do some modeling brother. Why does God bless us goofy looking half-Puerto Ricans with such beautiful wives?

At 12/01/2005 05:01:00 PM, Anonymous rudy said...

the link is not working

At 12/01/2005 09:16:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...

Matt, I've got some thoughts -- a bunch actually -- but no time right now. Check back over the weekend. In the meantime, others feel free to chip in.

Rudy, yeah ... I tested it on a freebie Geocities site not realizing that after 1 download it exceeds the allowable bandwith. I'll move it over to a different website this weekend. Sorry 'bout that.

At 12/02/2005 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MP3 not working....

At 12/03/2005 10:09:00 PM, Anonymous djchuang said...

I've not heard the talk yet, but I'd think that when Jesus said that he will build his church, he didn't mean the institutional local church or institutional Catholic church either. So if church refers to the body of believers, then it can be applied to parachurch ministries and other works for God's kingdom.

As an aside, I know the Bible forbids us to covet other wives, but are Christians allowed to comment on other wives? :)

At 12/05/2005 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...

Matt and DJ, thanks for your excellent thoughts and comments.

DJ stole my thunder a bit in his response. I don't think that when Jesus used terms like "church" he had institutionalized western church forms and structures in mind. I think, based on how he modeled "the Church," that he was talking about a relational community of believers who lived together, broke bread together, shared faith together, worshipped together, and loved people unconditionally together. He modeled it for three years, then told his disciples rerpoduce with others what they experienced with him. The book of Acts shares glimpses of what that looked like. Acts 2:42-47 expresses it this way:

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

The Acts church included the religious forms many western churches embrace, such as evangelism, prayer, corporate worship, as well as what has become in Amereica "parachurch" functions like fellowship and philanthropy and caring for the poor and sick. Ideally, I think, these functions go hand in hand (the great commandment is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself), but many times we in the west create artificial distinctions.

Which is why the passages on the body are such great reminders of how the various functions should relate to one another. The hands and feet are as important in the body calculus as the heart and head. And renegade ministers operating under individualized "calls" can become like cancerous cells rebelling against the rest of the body.

At 12/07/2005 10:00:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

I've never read about church vs. parachurch in my Bible. If the parachurch is just an arm of "the church" (read institutional reality), then isnt' that what the church (read people of God) is about (see 1 Cor.12). Just 'cause I'm an arm and you aren't doesn't make you any less a part of the body or me any more of the body. If Jesus is building his church through parachurch ministries or through mainline denominations or emerging churches, great.


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