A church (which is people, not a building) is a set of believers, brothers and sisters in Christ, walking together as strangers and pilgrims (exiles) on the earth (Heb.11:13). They are a family (Mark 10:30)! They have a spiritual ancestry (Heb. 11:1-40). They have a common bond in Christ. They have a future home together in heaven. They may be from different ethnic backgrounds, different social or economic statuses, even different native languages – but they are united to one another for eternity by the saving power of Jesus Christ.
There are at least 27 “one anothers” of Scripture. We are to be involved in one another’s lives!
To facilitate this principle, we hope to have a variety of functions intended to help us grow together in Christian love and maturity. As we get bigger, this should include things like small groups, men’s breakfast, private “house to house” (Acts 20:20) meetings with a pastor, counseling, discipleship, Bible studies, ladies’ gatherings, etc. We also endeavor to reach out with the gospel of Christ to those who are not yet Christians.
For instance, here is a partial list of goals that a men’s group may have:
- growing in personal Christlikeness
- a heart that is turned toward his wife and children (priorities)
- leadership in his home
- leadership in the church (formal or informal)
- personal holiness in a day where sexual temptations are far greater than ever before
- working to honor and serve Christ
- mutual encouragement, love, and accountability (sharpening one another)
Shown below are some quotes by men of God on this subject:
Nobody is born into this world a child of the family of God. We are born as children of wrath. The only way we enter into the family of God is by adoption, and that adoption occurs when we are united to God’s only begotten Son by faith. When by faith we are united with Christ, we are then adopted into that family of whom Christ is the firstborn. – R.C. Sproul, The New Birth, Tabletalk, March 2007, p 7
I believe that one major reason that the church of Jesus Christ in the United States is very close to being in sheer chaos today is because so many people think themselves as individuals rather than as part of the body of Christ. Christianity is not “every man for himself;” it’s every man together for Christ. – Wayne Mack, To Be or Not To Be a Church Member, p58-59
God’s family, which comes into being by regeneration, is more central and more lasting than the human family that comes into being by procreation. – John Piper, This Momentary Marriage, 2008, p 117