Families are Important, But . . .

How important is family ministry in your church?  Is it more than a fad or buzz word?

Likewise, how important is ministry to “non-family” people in your church?

Families are important but the church consists of singles, couples without and perhaps unable to have children, older people past child rearing age, as well as families.  (1 Cor. 12:14-20)

    • What effect does revolving the whole church around families have on all these people?
    • How can the church serve families without neglecting other people groups?

 

Families are important but the church is commissioned to reach people in general, not specifically families.  (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)

    • Where does a non-family person turn if the church focuses primarily on reaching families?
    • How can the church reach and assimilate non-family people without making them secondary?

 

Families are important but the church is commanded to first and foremost love God and then our neighbor (people in general). (Matt. 22:35-40)

    • When so much emphasis is on catering to families, how might non-family people feel in terms of their value?
    • How can the church provide a family-friendly atmosphere without being insensitive to the non-family people in their midst?

 

Families are important but the church is charged with shepherding the flock, not merely families. (1 Pet. 5:2-4)

  • What message do non-family people get when so much of the church’s time and resources are focused on the needs of the family?
  • How can the church make sure non-family members do not slip through the cracks?

The intent of this post is not to minimize the importance of family and the ways the church can help the family. At the very least, the church should . . .

Train parents to faithfully fulfill their responsibility.  When, where, and how we do that is what makes the difference.

Train teachers to keep a good line of communication open between teachers and parents.  Teachers keeping parents informed about what is happening in class gives parents a platform for taking it further at home.  Parents keeping teachers informed about what is happening in the home gives teachers a platform for better understanding students’ needs.

The intent of this post is to challenge us not to minimize those who attend our churches who are non-family people.  Let’s remember the all-inclusive nature of the church and how God uses diversity.  At the very least, the church needs the following:

acknowledgement that the church consists of families AND non-family people

advancement of the cause of Christ with all people in mind

affirmation of love and value of all people regardless of their status

accountability to shepherd all who are a part of the church

4 Replies to “Families are Important, But . . .”

  1. Thanks much for these reminders. I’m in a church that revolves all their Sunday School classes around where people are in their family life stages so I don’t go to Sunday School even though they have a singles class cause it focuses on issues like dating and the like. I want the meat of God’s Word not rehashing my need to be in a relationship. They spend weeks on parenting sermon series. It’s so easy not to go then but I don’t want to miss out on worship. I try to get what I can from those sermons but it’s hard. It’s like those who don’t fit the mold are supposed to fend for themselves. Most social functions are purposefully designed for families so I don’t go cause it’s ackward. It’s not intended for me. It’s like about what I can do is serve but that doesn’t make up for the rest. I feel like your title, “Families are important but . . .” I would add, “Families are important but what about me?”

    • Josie, first let me say that you are important! Your needs and life do matter! You have provided us with a real life perspective to what this post is about. I pray others reading what you wrote will get beyond the words to the cry of your heart. Thank you for your vulnerability.

        • When in a situation like that, it is so important to guard your heart (Prov. 4:23) so as not to become embittered, despairing, or apathetic. It is also important to make sure that you find other sources for fellowship and nurturing of your soul, particularly time alone with God in His Word and prayer. The church obviously is not going to be your all-in-all, nor should it be for anyone. While God did design the church for us to be there for each other, it was never to supplant His role. When the church isn’t doing their part, we must all the more lean in on God while at the same time, not giving up on the church. Despite its flaws and blemishes, the church is still the Bride of Christ.

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