Para-church Organisations

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Listed below, are a few of the more widely known Christian organizations that work among the different denominations (interdenominational) but are not denominations themselves. Because they have grown to such a large size of volunteer workers and ministries that are reaching millions of people, they have been referred to as “para-church” or “church-like” organizations. In reality, they are all more than “church like” but are simply part of the Christian church on the whole. However, they do not profess to belong to any particular denomination, but often times belong to churches of various denominations within their communities.

Youth With a Mission (YWAM)

Started by Loren Cunningham in 1960 as a Christian missions organization for youth. Cunningham had a vision in 1956 while in the Bahamas, where he saw “waves crashing on the shores of the continents, completely covering them up…” The waves in the vision became young people preaching to the lost outside bars, on the streets, etc.

Cunningham then shared his vision with his denomination (Assemblies of God) and they kindly offered to “pray about Loren’s vision” . They returned to him a short time later to claim that Loren’s vision “was not from God”. Cunningham disagreed with their findings and pursued the vision, knowing that it was from God. He began to establish small inter-denominational bases that mobilized young Christians for short term missions. The YWAM movement flourished and by the year 2000, there were 11,000 staff missionaries in/from over 130 countries.

Whereas YWAM is inter-denominational, it is widely regarded from within and from outside the movement as pentecostal. This can be attributed to its Assembly of God roots. There are no “YWAM” churches as the volunteer staff at the various bases, seek out appropriate home churches in their communities of which to be a part.

As a post script: the Assemblies of God, seeing the success of the YWAM movement, attempted their own version of a “youth driven missions and service movement” called “Masters Commission”. With this, its safe to say the Assemblies of God have “reconsidered” their response to Cunningham’s vision from God although they have never publicly admitted it.

Youth For Christ (YFC)

Started by Loren Cunningham in 1960 as a Christian missions organization for youth. Cunningham had a vision in 1956 while in the Bahamas, where he saw “waves crashing on the shores of the continents, completely covering them up…” The waves in the vision became young people preaching to the lost outside bars, on the streets, etc.

Cunningham then shared his vision with his denomination (Assemblies of God) and they kindly offered to “pray about Loren’s vision” . They returned to him a short time later to claim that Loren’s vision “was not from God”. Cunningham disagreed with their findings and pursued the vision, knowing that it was from God. He began to establish small inter-denominational bases that mobilized young Christians for short term missions. The YWAM movement flourished and by the year 2000, there were 11,000 staff missionaries in/from over 130 countries.

Whereas YWAM is inter-denominational, it is widely regarded from within and from outside the movement as pentecostal. This can be attributed to its Assembly of God roots. There are no “YWAM” churches as the volunteer staff at the various bases, seek out appropriate home churches in their communities of which to be a part.

As a post script: the Assemblies of God, seeing the success of the YWAM movement, attempted their own version of a “youth driven missions and service movement” called “Masters Commission”. With this, its safe to say the Assemblies of God have “reconsidered” their response to Cunningham’s vision from God although they have never publicly admitted it.

Campus Crusade For Christ (YFC)

Founded by Bill Bright in 1951 on the campus of UCLA as an evangelical outreach to students on college campuses across America. Bright was a recently born again Presbyterian and the evangelical views of Campus Crusade for Christ still reflect Reformist theology.

“CCC” is a sound Christian organization adhering to the primary fundamentals of the Christian faith. The organization came under criticism from atheist groups and others after many cults imitated the approach taken by Campus Crusade.

Bill Bright was a driving force behind CCC and in 1956, he penned the Four Spiritual Laws which provided an easy condensed codification of the Biblical view of Christian salvation.
There are hundreds of thousands of tracts and brochures that are distributed throughout the world that reference the “Four Laws”.

Bright also commissioned the JESUS film in 1979 which documented the life of Jesus according to the Bible which was a departure from the movies about Jesus life that were told from a liberal perspective. The JESUS documentary has, according to billbright.ccci.org, been viewed by over 5 billion people in 234 different countries. According to this same source, Campus Crusade for Christ, as of July, 2003, serves in 191 countries with a staff of 26,000 full time employees and 225000 volunteers.

Campus Crusade For Christ (YFC)

Founded by Bill Bright in 1951 on the campus of UCLA as an evangelical outreach to students on college campuses across America. Bright was a recently born again Presbyterian and the evangelical views of Campus Crusade for Christ still reflect Reformist theology.

“CCC” is a sound Christian organization adhering to the primary fundamentals of the Christian faith. The organization came under criticism from atheist groups and others after many cults imitated the approach taken by Campus Crusade.

Bill Bright was a driving force behind CCC and in 1956, he penned the Four Spiritual Laws which provided an easy condensed codification of the Biblical view of Christian salvation.
There are hundreds of thousands of tracts and brochures that are distributed throughout the world that reference the “Four Laws”.

Bright also commissioned the JESUS film in 1979 which documented the life of Jesus according to the Bible which was a departure from the movies about Jesus life that were told from a liberal perspective. The JESUS documentary has, according to billbright.ccci.org, been viewed by over 5 billion people in 234 different countries. According to this same source, Campus Crusade for Christ, as of July, 2003, serves in 191 countries with a staff of 26,000 full time employees and 225000 volunteers.

The Navigators

Founded by Bill Bright in 1951 on the campus of UCLA as an evangelical outreach to students on college campuses across America. Bright was a recently born again Presbyterian and the evangelical views of Campus Crusade for Christ still reflect Reformist theology.

“CCC” is a sound Christian organization adhering to the primary fundamentals of the Christian faith. The organization came under criticism from atheist groups and others after many cults imitated the approach taken by Campus Crusade.

Bill Bright was a driving force behind CCC and in 1956, he penned the Four Spiritual Laws which provided an easy condensed codification of the Biblical view of Christian salvation.
There are hundreds of thousands of tracts and brochures that are distributed throughout the world that reference the “Four Laws”.

Bright also commissioned the JESUS film in 1979 which documented the life of Jesus according to the Bible which was a departure from the movies about Jesus life that were told from a liberal perspective. The JESUS documentary has, according to billbright.ccci.org, been viewed by over 5 billion people in 234 different countries. According to this same source, Campus Crusade for Christ, as of July, 2003, serves in 191 countries with a staff of 26,000 full time employees and 225000 volunteers.

Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship

Founded by Bill Bright in 1951 on the campus of UCLA as an evangelical outreach to students on college campuses across America. Bright was a recently born again Presbyterian and the evangelical views of Campus Crusade for Christ still reflect Reformist theology.

“CCC” is a sound Christian organization adhering to the primary fundamentals of the Christian faith. The organization came under criticism from atheist groups and others after many cults imitated the approach taken by Campus Crusade.

Bill Bright was a driving force behind CCC and in 1956, he penned the Four Spiritual Laws which provided an easy condensed codification of the Biblical view of Christian salvation.
There are hundreds of thousands of tracts and brochures that are distributed throughout the world that reference the “Four Laws”.

Bright also commissioned the JESUS film in 1979 which documented the life of Jesus according to the Bible which was a departure from the movies about Jesus life that were told from a liberal perspective. The JESUS documentary has, according to billbright.ccci.org, been viewed by over 5 billion people in 234 different countries. According to this same source, Campus Crusade for Christ, as of July, 2003, serves in 191 countries with a staff of 26,000 full time employees and 225000 volunteers.

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