Sam, in the third installment of our DNA series, preached on how God, “gathered us as a family” in Christ. God, when he saves you, always brings you into his family (and then sends you out together, which is next week’s sermon).
Community is incredibly important to God. He wants his people to share their possessions (homes, tools, cars, food, etc.), time, love, energy, stories, and relationships together. God wants us to have all things in common with each other. But a community is different from a family. We tend to be tribal. We associate with people like us. Most of our friends dress like us, enjoy the same media, and share the same values. But that is not the community that God designed and continues to bring together. God’s people are different – in past, in culture, in ethnicity, in age, in gender, and much more. The church ought not to look like a tribal community. Instead the church must reflect the family of God in all her diversity and unity. God brings together different people and unites them in Jesus.
I love my church family. I enjoy each other’s company, the fact that we pray together, eat frequently together, and much more. But the hard truth that we, as a family, must face is that while we want to be a biblical family… we sinfully are inclined to be a tribe.
Not too long ago I read a short book by Leslie Newbigin. He pointed out that “those young kids” are essential in churches as they point out old, dry answers that don’t satisfy their hearts, minds, or imaginations. This is so true. We need youth – kids and teenagers – to challenge our established answers. But on the flip-side we need age. We need sages who can guide our marriages, instruct us as parents, lead us through vocational decisions, and journey with us as we fight sin, temptation, and the wiles of the devil.
Pray with me. Pray for youth to come into our doors. Pray for age and maturity so that our kids would have spiritual grandparents. And look for opportunities that enable and allow people to speak into our lives.