Back into a Family and a Household
Paul refers to the church as the household of God. He literally sees Christ’s people as closer than family—we are a home. Consider the manner in which Paul speaks to, and about those in the church: “… we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (ITH 2:7-8).
Paul’s words communicate a deep community connection to the people he was working alongside, yet in today’s world—a world plagued with the disease of individualism—unfortunately a sense of “I” or “we” has taken over the church. We encourage people to learn about God in “quiet times”—individual. We send out missionaries—individual and alone. We go to church online—alone. We create community through social media—isolating. And we close our eyes, darken the room, and connect to God in worship through songs using the language of “me” and “I.”
The model given to us for ministry is much different in Scripture. It is much more “we.” There’s a cycle in Acts of how the family of God grows and matures: a team of missionaries is commissioned (ACTS 13:1-4), an audience is contacted (ACTS 13:14-16), the gospel is given (ACTS 16:31), hearers are converted (ACTS 13:48), believers are gathered together (ACTS 13:43), faith is confirmed (ACTS 14:21-22), leadership is raised up (ACTS 14:23), believers are commended (ACTS 14:23), relationships grow and continue (ACTS 15:36), sending churches are convened (ACTS 14:26-27), and the process starts all over again. A “together-church-planting-mission” is how God does ministry.
Healthy churches realize that the local church and healthy families is where true restoration, renewal, and recovery happen. We cannot recover our sense of God’s home unless we are brought out of the abuse of the world, and are brought into the forever family of God’s church. The only hope for the world is in the gospel of Jesus Christ as it spreads through explosive church planting!
*For further reading in the Bible: 1st Thessalonians 2:7 – 2:8; Acts 13; Acts 14; Acts 16
To learn more about how to help trafficked orphans, visit: https://www.makejesusculture.com/life-for-the-innocent
Accompanying this study is over 300-Hours of video footage from 150 of today’s top Christian thinkers on culture, creativity, innovation, and invention at www.makejesusculture.com and www.gardencityproject.com. We aim to help churches develop grass roots culture formation for their contexts. Go now!