Thursday, March 11, 2010

A 'family church' can be exclusive

"It is not "family churches" but "church families" that the world needs." Peter Storey, Listening at Golgotha

In preparing for Good Friday I am reading Peter Storey's book on the last seven words of Jesus on the cross. He makes the above statement that makes the subtle difference between the fashionable 'family church' that stresses the family unit above else. The danger with this strategy is that those not in a family unit feel left out. Those who chose not to marry feel left out. Those who could never get married feel left out. Those who could not have children feel left out. The true definition is to say that we are a 'church family' in that everybody sees themselves as a child in the family of God the church.

4 comments:

Brenda said...

The flip side though David is that in not wanting to over emphasise the nuclear family, we have almost ignored it. The church undermines the family again and again, and suggests that "church" is more imprtant than "family" - we just have to look at the state of ministerial families to see the truth of that. NOw church family I can handle because it includes the smaller families to build an extended family. Church insititution and families, well that's another story.

markpenrith said...

David, I really like the thoughts in the post. Brenda, your comment is poignant.

In a sentence, "The 'Church Family' should rightly value the family nucleuses."

David Barbour said...

Agree...all inclusive, families and all. The caution was felt when I visited somebody whose family had disintegrated and she made a comment that didn't feel easy with all the families around. It should work the other way I thought - surely the families in church would have substituted that gap in her life? Cannot win I say.

Gerard Willemse said...

I agree. The church (Body of Christ) is in now way supposed to be exclusive. Any church with such a structure is unbiblical and not what Christ had in mind. May as well be Jehova's witness who forbid contact with even family members who don't abide by their rules. Such a person is restricted to either the back of the 'church' or not permitted inside in some cases.

Im sure that this is probarbly the way the woman mentioned in article above must feel... Left out.