The Church is designed to be a Family
Many people think of church as a service you attend, a building with a steeple, or an organization within the community. Church is something you do some of the time. You “go” to church. But the biblical understanding of the church is very different. You don’t “go” to church, you “are” the church if you are a child of God by faith in Jesus. Church isn’t a service, a building, or an organization. It is a family. It is a community that shares life throughout the week in relationship with God as Father and one another as brothers and sisters. Consider the frequent use of familial language in the New Testament to describe the church:
- The Church is a family with God as Father (1 Thessalonians 1:1-3, 3:11-13, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2, 2:16)
- The Church is the “household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Peter 4:17, Hebrews 3:3-6)
- Christians are God’s children (Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 4:4-6)
- Christians are brothers and sisters with Jesus (Mark 3:31-35, 10:28-31, Luke 9:60)
- Christians are brothers and sisters with one another (Matthew 23:8-9)
Would you know how to be the church without a building, Sunday event, or paid staff? The emphasis we place on community is based on our new identity as Family in the gospel. To live out and teach others to follow Jesus' command to love one another (and the myriad other "one anothers"), we need lots of life together. As children of God we love one another as brothers and sisters. Jesus said this is the way the world will know that we are his disciples – by our love for one another. The primary means by which we show the world what God is like and give tangible proof of the Gospel’s power to save is through our love for one another.