I’ve been following Paul Ellis for a number of years now, and usually enjoy his writings. But today’s post, What Makes a Church a Family? is just fantabulous, and touches on one of my blog’s themes about the church being a family and not an institution. He approaches the topic through the paradigm of, what else, grace.
Even though his article doesn’t tackle organic church, nor do I think he’s even referring to it, nor does he cover family on mission as we’ve been defining it, I think this post hits the nail on the head on some stuff I harp about regarding discipleship and active relationships in the Body, not just joining together to attend a weekly event.
I’ve selected a portion for you below, but encourage you to head on over and read the whole thing.
Why is the church slow to get grace?
The reason some churches are slow to embrace grace is because they are not families. They may say they are a family, but what they say differs from what they do.
God sets the solitary in families. (Ps 68:6)
Family is where we do life and encounter Jesus. You need love, grace and healing? You’ll find it in God’s family.
Churches that function like families get grace; churches that function like businesses or platoons, don’t. I don’t say this to disparage the local church, but to strengthen God’s wonderful family. An orphaned world needs a family, and the church is how God meets that need (see Eph 3:10).
What makes a church a family?
Now there’s a question worthy of discussion at your next leaders’ meeting. What makes a church a family? This may be the most important question a pastor can ask, yet when I was leading a church I seldom did. The word family was not even in our vision and values statement. (Is it in yours?)
Again, I’m not here to make anyone feel bad but to ask a healthy question. Are we a family? Are we real or superficial in our togetherness? Are we grace-givers or grace-killers?
I don’t have this all figured out by any means, but I’ll get the ball rolling. (You might want to add your own suggestions below.) What makes a church a family? For that matter what makes a family a family? It starts with these seven things:
Read the seven things at the original article: What Makes a Church a Family? – Escape to Reality
Also, make sure to check out my discussion with Mark Burgess from last year about Family on Mission.