But sometimes those same pastors admit that this may, at least in part, be a problem of their own making. Look at any church website and what is advertised are worship services for us to enjoy, sermons for us to listen to, youth provision for our children, and perhaps a small group that can provide for other needs. We post pictures of our smart buildings, of our edgy youth work, and of well-designed sermon series; we invest time and money in brilliant branding and a hip visual identity.
- West Oaks Baptist Church Bryan Tx > Family-integrated?;
- Family Bible Church Kingman -.
- Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls.
This all serves to reinforce the idea that our churches exist primarily as events for consumer Christians to attend. Descriptors, metaphors, and conceptual models can have a profound effect on both how we understand something and how we act. It is no wonder those have become key success metrics, even though they bear no resemblance to the way successful churches are presented in the New Testament. Church as family is not a new metaphor; however, our understanding of church as family may have become so restricted, limited, and skewed that it needs an urgent rethink.
This particularly struck home to me when I was in Kenya listening to a Christian from the north of the country give his testimony. This man became a Christian from a strongly Muslim background, was thrown out of his family, and was ultimately forced to flee for his life. He sought sanctuary in a church that welcomed him with open arms.
They gave him a corner of the building to live in, with a mattress on the floor and food generously delivered on a daily basis. The man was extremely grateful for their hospitality. But, he confided, the hardest part of his week was on Sunday morning after the church service when everyone went home to their families and their Sunday lunches, leaving him alone. Although he was welcome to make his home inside the church building, he did not actually feel welcome inside the homes of the church family.
Day 14: Breakthrough In Strengthening Relationships In My Church Family
This church was so near and yet so far from Christlike hospitality. The church building provided shelter, the church members provided sustenance, and the church event provided sacraments and spiritual teaching—but none of these were a substitute for the lifelong intimate commitment of a family. I believe Bible teaching and sacraments are an important part of church life in the same way that graduation ceremonies and school plays are an important part of family life.
For example, Paul instructs Timothy, as a young leader, that he should treat older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, older men as fathers, and younger men as brothers 1 Tim. There is a depth of intimacy indicated in these greetings that may well have been forged during times of common persecution, separation from wider biological family, and also common courageous service to God in difficult and dangerous times.
Jesus cannot be accused of downplaying the importance of family—at another point he criticizes the Pharisees who refused to offer appropriate financial assistance to their parents, and at the time of his death, he makes it a priority to provide for his own mother. According to Jesus, those who convert to Christianity at great relational cost will receive many times more brothers, sisters, parents, and children in the present age Luke — How is this possible?
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It is through the alternative family of the church that we receive relationships that can act as a substitute for those that we have lost. These are mind-blowing ideas. And indeed the generative metaphor of the church as family has always had explosive consequences on how Christians understand their place in the world.
I expect my uncle to be a bit crabby, one of the kids to have a meltdown, and the house to feel a bit cramped. If the church is our true family, what does this say about church hopping? However, I think the challenge can be pressed further. The problem with the family metaphor for those of us used to a Western nuclear family is that it seems to suggest that the church should be a small and cozy huddle, with strong boundaries between those who are welcome and those who are not—an inward-focused community that looks out for the needs of its own.
In the New Testament Middle East, there was a width and depth to families that could cross many generations and include slaves, in-laws, and houseguests. In other words, when family is used as a generative metaphor for church, it can transform not only our preconceptions and expectations of church, but also our preconceptions and expectations of family.
A non-nuclear, welcoming, diverse family can make the difference to all sorts of vulnerable people and model to an increasingly divided and isolated world a glimpse of the coming kingdom of God.
The church as family offers a healthy counterbalance to the church-as-event mindset. It can be an antidote to more individualistic, sadly even consumptive models of church participation that are common today. Families look out for one another; families are committed to each other for the long haul.
- Church Is a Family, Not an Event | Christianity Today!
- What is the value of having a church family? | ghenolmesipi.ml.
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- Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, LA..
They support one another through tragedy and triumph. Acts ;; We would like to welcome you to what we feel is one of the warmest, most loving families in Baton Rouge.go to link
Family Worship Center | Jimmy Swaggart Ministries | Baton Rouge
More than anything else, we want you to feel a part of our family as we worship and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. As you look through this site, you will note the many, unique outreaches and ministries of Family Worship Center. Our prayer is that one or more of them will touch you and minister to your needs. Family Worship Center also reaches beyond Baton Rouge as it shares its pastors with many churches and countries around the world. One of the most important things your church does is remind you often of the main points of the gospel:.
Imagine a soccer team where everyone wanted to be the goalkeeper.
How ridiculous to have 11 goalies! God has designed the church with different roles -- meaning, the team is not complete without you, and you are lacking without the team. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body" 1 Corinthians When a pack of wolves goes hunting, they try to separate young or weak animals from the herd, where they are easily captured and eaten.
Satan looks for people to devour, just like wolves do 1 Peter Do you meet with other believers regularly?
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