The Prospering Parachurch: Enlarging the Boundaries of God's Kingdom

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A new breed of nonprofit organization?the parachurch?is dramatically reshaping the religious world?taking religion beyond the walls of the traditional church and providing infinite ways for people to link their lives to God. Some estimate there are as many as 100,000 parachurch organizations in North America alone and the number keeps rising. With monetary donations approaching donations to traditional churches, many parachurch organizations rank among the world?s largest, most influential, and thriving ...
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Overview

A new breed of nonprofit organization?the parachurch?is dramatically reshaping the religious world?taking religion beyond the walls of the traditional church and providing infinite ways for people to link their lives to God. Some estimate there are as many as 100,000 parachurch organizations in North America alone and the number keeps rising. With monetary donations approaching donations to traditional churches, many parachurch organizations rank among the world?s largest, most influential, and thriving nonprofits, including Campus Crusade for Christ, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, Christian Broadcasting Network, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

These organizations, and thousands of other faith-based groups, provide a societal safety net?bringing their perspective of faith to bear on practically every personal or social issue imaginable, from education to disaster relief, from global evangelism concerns to personal counseling, from children?s summer camps to the treatment of addiction. Expressed faith in God has found a new voice in the parachurch.

What is fueling this dynamic and diverse movement?properly described as religion gone entrepreneur? What distinguishes those parachurch organizations that are most successfully enlarging the boundaries of God?s work in the world? What challenges lie ahead? And how can all the stakeholders within these organizations?leaders, staff, board members, and the larger church community?work together to maximize these organizations? effectiveness in accomplishing their missions?

In The Prospering Parachurch, Wesley K. Willmer and J. David Schmidt offer the first comprehensive resource for everyone with an interest in the future of parachurch organizations and the parachurch movement. They uncover the movement?s roots and clarify the boundaries of the parachurch while providing a thorough and practical guide to the key issues facing every parachurch leader?remaining focused on the organization?s mission and vision, managing key stakeholders, strategy development, board effectiveness, financing, juggling multigenerational and cultural agendas, and the ever-present competition for volunteers and dollars.

Although the local church will always remain central to Christian life, the growing array of parachurch organizations is a healthy reflection of the diversity of ways to meet spiritual needs in our society. Examining what lies ahead for the parachurch, this book will better equip those leading, volunteering, or interested in playing an active role in the strengthening of this burgeoning movement ?enhancing the way people throughout the world will come to know and experience God in the twenty-first century.

Play an Active Role in this Dynamic and Diverse Movement

The Prospering Parachurch is the first book to reveal the heart of this burgeoning movement and how that has enlarged the tent of God?s work from primarily church centered to kingdom centered.

"God has chosen to work in dramatic ways through the parachurch in the last half of the twentieth century to significantly impact the world for Christ. My friends and colleagues Wes Willmer and David Schmidt have done a marvelous job of capturing the essence of this movement. I commend this book to you."?Billy Graham

"I?ve spent practically my entire career working for parachurch organizations. I consider The Prospering Parachurch a "must read" for parachurch presidents, board members, staff, and those serious practitioners that need to understand the revolutionary transformation caused by the parachurch movement."?John Pearson, CEO, Christian Management Association

"This highly readable book describes why parachurch organizations have become so important, . . . and should be of interest to students of American religion, clergy, seminary faculty and students, and religious leaders."?Robert Wuthnow, professor and director of the Center for the Study of American Religion, Princeton University

"A challenging and stretching book breaking new ground and offering practical insights from wise and seasoned leaders in God?s work."?Roberta Hestenes, senior pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"God has chosen to work in dramatic ways through the parachurch in the last half of the twentieth century to significantly impact the world for Christ. My friends and colleagues Wes Willmer and David Schmidt have done a marvelous job of capturing the essence of this movement. I commend this book to you." (Billy Graham)
Booknews
A resource for those interested in the future of parachurch organizations and movements. Looks at the roots of the movement, clarifies the boundaries in relation to the local church, and provides practical guidance to issues facing parachurch organizations, such as board effectiveness and the competition for volunteers and money. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787941987
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/13/1998
  • Series: Religion in Practice Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

WESLEY K. WILLMER, vice president of University Advancement and a professor at Biola University, is a consultant to parachurch organizations. J. DAVID SCHMIDT heads a Wheaton, Illinois based consulting firm that provides strategic planning, research, and organizational development services to Christian parachurch organizations. MARTYN SMITH is a freelance writer and a frequent presenter of seminars on religious and literary topics.
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Table of Contents

WHAT IS THE PARACHURCH AND WHY IT IS THRIVING.

1. God's Work Enlarged.

2. Defining the Parachurch Boundaries.

3. The Roots of the Parachurch Boom.

4. Keys to Enduring Impact.

WHO COMPRISES THE PARACHURCH?

5. Appreciating the Stakeholders and Their Diverse Needs.

6. Building and Effective Christian Board.

7. Leading with Intentionality.

8. Understanding Parachurch Donors.

HOW CAN THE PARACHURCH ENLARGE ITS IMPACT?

9. Thinking Strategically About God's Work.

10. Knowing Where You Want to Go.

11. Understanding Where You Are Now.

12. Getting From Here to There.

WHERE IS THE PARACHURCH HEADED?

13. Financing Tomorrow's Parachurch.

14. Enhancing the Partnership Between Church and Parachurch.

15. Challenges to the Parachurch's Future.

Resource: Parachurch Taxonomy.

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