So you are no longer strangers and outsiders. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are members of God’s family.
Ephesians 2:19 (NIRV)
One of the best parts about being a Christian is having a spiritual family. As the scripture above teaches, the church is God’s family and not an organization. Likewise, at the BACC we want to be a place where everyone can find family.
While we all have different experiences with our physical families, ideally family is a place where we feel secure and know we will be accepted no matter what. Family is also the place where we should be called to grow and mature; in raising our own children, they were expected to take on added responsibility for helping each other as they grew older.
A sense of family exists in the church when we each have firm convictions about building this type of family in our own homes and with other Christians. In the Bible, as churches were being built in small villages and towns, Paul instructed Timothy with these words:
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task … 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
1 Timothy 3:1, 4-5
The “overseer,” is someone who has spent years cultivating family in their home through meeting the needs of their kids and guiding their family toward God. Paul knew that these qualities of building family would in turn build a church that had a deep sense of care for one another.
A sense of family is best built in small groups. These small groups together share the responsibility of leading God’s church. For these groups to be close, they need two things:
- Small Group Conviction –Building family is not just the task of organizing people for an event, it’s about how you live, what you value, and what your convictions are. If you value closeness and vulnerability in your physical family, you will bring this into the church. On the flip side, if you are distant and un-open, you will bring those convictions into your spiritual family.
- Small Group Connection –They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together. Acts 2:42 (CEV) God gives us opportunities every day to connect through dinners, birthday parties, e-soccer, family events, church services and daily life events. These are opportunities to know each other’s lives – the pressures and burdens that we face on a daily basis.
In closing, ask yourself these questions to help build and find family:
- How do I view the opportunities God gives me to connect with other Christians? Are they burdensome, tiring, extra activities in my schedule? Or opportunities to build close relationships?
- Did my physical family value closeness and openness, or distance and appearing to “have it all together”? How do these values affect the way I build family now with those around me?
- What convictions do I see that my spiritual family needs to grow in? How can I contribute to making my relationships closer with other Christians around me?