As children of God, we care for one another, disciple one another and are committed to resolving any conflict between us. We celebrate life together and discuss big decisions as extended family. We emphasise hospitality and use homes for most of church life.
This model is also a simple and reproducible form of church without any trappings that could limit freedom and flexibility.
- do things together... like go to Legoland (apparently!)
- support each other and help each other
- are together in the hard times
- eat together
- relax together
- celebrate together
- give gifts to one another
- do jobs for each other
- tell silly jokes
- show love
- are friends
- are where you can 'be yourself' and be honest
- travel together
The bible uses the metaphor of family for church a lot. It is a major emphasis. All the things we wrote above are true for church communities. Because it's not simply that church is like a family. It actually is a family.
We read various parts of the bible including 1 Timothy. This book of the bible is a letter from the Apostle Paul to Timothy, a young man who was leading a church. Paul was talking about how church life should be, and in middle of all that he gives this reason:
I am writing this to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Timothy 3: 14-16
The household of God. And New Testament language backs this up as we read of God as our Father, being joint heirs with Jesus, being brothers and sisters, adoption, new birth, and so on.
This is a key identity for us.
We are family.