Maybe the word “family,” isn’t positive in your mind. Maybe you think of fighting and divorce. But family is God’s idea and it’s supposed to be one of the most wonderful things on earth. Family — according to the Bible (see Romans 12:10 for example) — should be about love, honor and respect. By calling ourselves a “family of families,” we are trying to accomplish some very important things:
- We’re rejecting the consumerism view of church — the idea that the church is a business and the congregation is consumers who either “buy” what we’re selling if they’re satisfied, or they “fire” the church if they’re not. We believe this is an extremely unhealthy way of doing church, and the better way is to see ourselves as “God’s household” (i.e., a family; see Romans 12:10; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:5, 14-15).
- We’re encouraging stronger families. In other words, we’re emphasizing the need and importance of family as designed by God Himself (Genesis 2, Ephesians 5:22-33, etc.). We live in a culture which is losing its grip on the meaning and importance of family, and we believe the consequences have been — and will continue to be — devastating. God is glorified and people are built up as we teach and model for husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and children, how to live out God’s intent for the family (see Titus 2).
- We’re encouraging deeper relationships in the church. Many of us have been part of churches where everyone basically just attends meetings and goes home. Most of the church is anonymous and there is no real relational connection. We recognize that there are times in a person’s life when “attending” is all they can do, and we will love them through those times. But, by calling ourselves “a family of families,” we are hoping for much better things. We’re hoping for relationships that are close like “fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters” (see 1 Timothy 5:1-2). Close enough to actually live out the “one-anothers” of the Bible. Those who just attend a church meeting for an hour or two each week cannot truly say they are obeying Christ’s commands to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13) or the Apostles’ instructions to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10), “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24), or using God-given gifts “in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
- We’re providing an important ministry to single persons and Christians who are married to non-Christians or carnal Christians. Walking with Christ is not easy, and those who don’t have a strong support system at home especially need the encouragement and leadership of a healthy church — a family of families. All of us need the support and guidance of “older men” and “older women” (Titus 2:1-8), and those who are single or whose spouses are not walking with Christ, for whatever reasons, can benefit in even greater ways from the family of families emphasis. Their children will also be blessed. In addition, those whose spouses are not walking with Christ often provide the best encouragement and counsel to others who are in the same situation.
It’s what church is meant to be. You’re invited to become part of our family of families today.