When I first started working at Miracle Hill three years ago, I quickly began to hear the term “parachurch organization.” I was unfamiliar with the term, so if you too are unfamiliar, basically a parachurch organization is a ministry that operates parallel to the church and is not affiliated with one church or denomination.
Our Ministry has always viewed itself as an extension of the local church. As a body of believers, we know that we are ALL the universal Church. We see so many images of this in scripture. The church is referenced at the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15), the People of God (2 Corinthians 6:16), and the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7).
Heart of the Ministry
We seek to serve Christ’s church by being a resource to local churches. Many times, we will receive calls from pastors who have an individual show up at their doorstep in need of help. On the other hand, we also receive calls from pastors who have members who want to roll up their sleeves and serve at our shelters and thrift stores. Our heart is to serve those who need support, and to serve those who want to fulfill their personal call to serve others (Mark 10:45). Praise God that oftentimes, like in Kirby’s story, the people we get the privilege of serving through our programs end up being called to serve back at the very places they once received care!
While working with our church partners, I am often reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. My favorite part of that story is right after Jesus explains the different reactions of the priest, Levite, and Samaritan who passed by the man who was attacked by robbers. Jesus tells this story to someone who knows the law of the day back and forth, and then asks him, “Which of these three proved to be a good neighbor?” The lawyer’s response is one I hold closely – “The one who showed mercy to him.” Then Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.
I feel like I have a front row to view the work of Jesus in our city!
We partner with the local church because each one of us, as the children of God, has had mercy shown to us. We are the recipients full of mercy, grace, and compassion – so we cannot help but to go and do likewise. It is what we were created for! Let me just tell you – I feel like I have a front row seat to view the work of Jesus in our city! I feel so undeserving yet blessed to see the people of God humbly serve one another – to use their own time, their own money, their own talents to help sustain the operations of our shelters in so many ways.
North Hills Church, one of so many long-standing partners in ministry, has spent the past twenty-five years humbly serving the guests of our programs. North Hills members share the Gospel through Bible studies at Renewal and Shepherd’s Gate. The church hosts the ladies at Renewal during their Sunday services and invites the ladies to participate in church programs. Several of their members mentor our men and women in recovery.
The church corporately sustains the salary of one of our Care Coordinators in Foster Care, to help fill the gap for funding and ultimately provide Christian foster families with the loving support of a staff member who walks alongside the family during the foster care process. North Hills is one of many examples of how God uses both the local and the universal Church to sustain His ministry.
As the Body of Christ, the People of God, and the Bride of Christ, we are filled by the love of God, the forgiveness of Jesus, and the power of spirit. We are the strongest when we serve with other believers (both the local and the universal church) as one body, working together as the hands and feet of Jesus.