I work at a parachurch organization, Biola University. It is not a church. Still, the people, if they told the truth on the application, are church, for they trust Christ. For those of us raised in the institutional church, this notion stretches our understanding of church. Church is people, not an institution. For the past eleven years, I have lived this reality and in the past few years, it has finally begun to sink in.
Now the question arises, what difference should this make. Now, as a university, we have obligations to accreditation organizations, students, faculty, staff, donors, the federal and state governments, and a host of other stake holders. Most of our life as Biola is spent in ordinary university stuff. Still, I contend that, since the people are church, we ought to do university differently than a university that is not composed of a people who are church. Fleshing this out in doable words is another thing altogether.