Many Christians are no longer sure about what the ‘church’ is or how it’s relevant to their lives. The aim of this article is to remind us how good it can be. One analogy is particularly helpful to remind us of its beauty, importance, and imperfections – a family. Family is a good analogy, because that is precisely what God makes us.
The following paragraphs explain some of the ways Church is like family.
Families gather together, and busier and bigger families may have to schedule these times. Like any healthy family, we prioritize time together. At Kingscross Church, we usually gather on Sunday mornings as a big group and once during the week in smaller groups (so we can get to know people better and not get lost in the crowd).
Families function best when everyone pitches in. We believe God has given everyone natural skills and abilities, and for Christians He has added spiritual ones too. These are given to serve God and help the people around us. It can be practical help, such as setting up equipment for our Sunday meetings or cooking a meal for someone who has recently had a baby. But it can be spiritual help too, such as praying for someone. When the church is functioning well, everyone is cared for.
Healthy families grow. This can be growth in age/maturity of the members or additions of new members, like through marriage or births. Every new person brings a change to the dynamic of the home. In the same way the church is always changing with new Christians being added. Every new addition is unique and valuable.
When we gather, we often have a special meal called communion. It is a special way to remember what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross. We have bread, as a symbol of Jesus’ body that was damaged when he hung on the cross. And we have a red drink (sometimes wine, but usually juice) to symbolize the blood he lost as he died. While it might sound a bit gruesome, it celebrates that he chose to die as a punishment for our wrongdoings, so that we wouldn’t have to die and can now live forever in relationship with God.
Families Hurt & Heal:
While family is good, it isn’t perfect. Though we love each other, we sometimes hurt one another. When this happens we walk through reconciliation together. We are able to lovingly forgive one another, because we have received forgiveness from God.
Families Are Lead:
We believe a successful family has clear leadership. The leader takes responsibility for the welfare of the family and seeks to do what is best for them. Jesus is the ultimate leader of the church, and he has also additional leaders under him to help take care of his people. In the church those helpers are called ‘elders’ and ‘deacons’. The elders are primarily responsible for the overall running of the church, while the deacons assist with specific tasks, such as looking after the finances.
Families Have Values:
Every healthy family has a set of values that unify them, guide decisions, and helps create a positive environment. At Kingscross, we also have values that are important to us:
Love: To love our Father God, one another, and the world.
Generosity: To be generous with our time, possessions and skills.
Unity: To seek and keep unity.
Holiness: To grow towards holiness; promoting that which is good.
Celebration: To celebrate life and one another.
Authenticity: To be real about our struggles and Gods victories.
Let’s be honest, some people have had the experience that a church can become dead and irrelevant. Others have experienced a church being distracted from Jesus, losing its love for him. Several Christian leaders have behaved wickedly and caused many to weaken in their faith. Yet, with these and other imperfections God has still managed to use the church to reveal His glory to the world, and the church is growing faster today than at any time in history. We are aware, that in Gods kindness, there are many wonderful churches in Perth that love Jesus and desire to see the glory of God in Perth. Reject dead religion, reject distraction, reject hypocrisy, but don’t reject the living beautiful church that is filled with Gods Spirit to empower us for His glory and our good. Be a function healthy member of the family.