Defining Church Family

Defining Church Family

Original Post: March 1st, 2018
Monthly Newsletter Article:

All in the Family:
Most churches would say that what they are building is family. At Jesus Pursuit Church we believe that church IS meant to be a healthy family….the only problem is that we all come to the family with unique and various viewpoints, experiences, and ideas of what a family actually is!

What does it actually mean to do church as a family?

I think a lot of the time, when we say we are building family, the desired atmosphere that is thought of is…”family is a safe place to belong in”. While that is absolutely a great place to start, the truth is that a healthy and functioning family has so many more elements to it than just safety and belonging alone.

I think about my own personal family and that Justin & I have these two wonderful daughters that we love so dearly and desire to see all their hopes and dreams fulfilled. We are intentional about encouraging and helping cultivate the dreams and talents that they have. We want them to be anything that they want to be and we never want to throw water on the fire of their dreams. Instead, we want to help fuel their passion with our time, money and encouragement. After we have given them all we have, will that be enough to grow these children God has given us into powerful adults? No, I don’t believe it is. If we never taught them the basic things like cleaning their rooms, participating in family chores (not for our benefit alone, but for theirs), fed them healthy foods, made sure they got an education and tools for their futures,  and at times said no to them and even disciplined them, what kind of adults would they be? However, if we only parented those things and never poured love, safety, belonging and identity into them again and again, they would be missing something.

It’s actually the role of fathers and mothers to raise up powerful, strong, mature, responsible, and compassionate sons and daughters who will one day grow up to be those mothers and fathers who then raise up their own sons and daughters in the same way. Can you see that it’s much more than just belonging and feeling safe? Family is also a place for maturity & growth!

In a healthy family you should experience the following:

IDENTITY: It’s where you find out who you are and whose you are. It’s the place where we recognize the power and authority we have as co-heirs with Christ and live as dearly loved sons and daughters of the King.
COMMUNITY: This is the place where we learn how to relate to others, through our relationships and, even at times, conflicts with our brothers/sisters/fathers/mothers. It’s the place where you learn how to navigate conflict, getting along, and forgiveness. It’s where iron sharpens iron, and transformation begins. We can’t really experience the truth of Jesus’ love without community.

MATURITY: This where we grow up. We grow more and more in the character of Jesus Christ as we give ourselves fully in surrender to his nature. In time, we realize that we are no longer only concerned about OUR safety and belonging, but now the safety and belonging of OTHERS. Our focus goes from self-centered to OTHERS centered.

RESPONSIBILITY: Now that we’re growing up, we realize that we have to take personal responsibility for our relationships both with the Lord and within our family.

DESTINY: This is where the fun really happens!!! We are empowered, championed, and ready to fulfill the gifts and callings of God on our life.

Family IS God’s methodology in creation, in redemption, and in the restoration of all things. We see that it’s so important to God to have a healthy and thriving family! In response, it therefore becomes of major importance to us. When Pastor Denny heard the audible voice of the Lord say, “the key to revival is the restoration of family” he only understood a fraction of what that revelation really was. We have only just scratched the surface of that word, but God is unfolding it to each of us more and more. When we as a church and as a family are truly restored to the truth of heaven’s government of family, we will see revival continuously explode in our homes, our community, and every place as we do life in step with our King.