Updated: Nov 2
I think every one of us can agree that family matters. I believe it has changed in meaning over time and has even become a buzzword of sorts. For example, on many sports teams you are invited to be part of the family. In the Brenneman house we call it our “swim family.” A real group of athletes and parents working together toward a common goal. In Grace’s acceptance letter to the University of Notre Dame it stated at the top, “Welcome Home!” - A real life invitation to be part of a family. The key is that a family is something that is greater than just one person. It is a community; A place to be seen, heard, and loved.
At WakyMC we use this word “family” a lot. I think it is important that we understand why is family a focus and value at WakyMC?
Family was God’s idea that He created, designed, and blessed for the purpose of multiplication and discipleship. This is storied throughout the Bible, and seen and modeled in both the church and the home. God CREATED FAMILY and gave purpose, mission, and blessing that can be seen and read in Genesis 1: 26-30 (NIRV):
“God created human beings in his own likeness. He created them to be like himself. He created them as male and female. God blessed them. He said to them, “Have children so that there will be many of you. Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Rule over every living creature that moves along the ground.” Then God said, “I am giving you every plant on the face of the whole earth that produces its own seeds. I am giving you every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. All of them will be given to you for food. I am giving every green plant as food for all the land animals and for all the birds in the sky. I am also giving the plants to all the creatures that move along the ground. I am giving them to every living thing that breathes.”
And that’s exactly what happened!
Family is the primary avenue of discipleship. Passing faith to the next generation is a commandment in Deuteronomy 6:
“The Lord is our God. The Lord is the one and only God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength. The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up. Write them down and tie them on your hands as a reminder. Also tie them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses. Also write them on your gates.”
The Church is a model for FAMILY: The local church is an extension of the home as well as a larger spiritual family for God’s children of every age and situation in life. We are relatives with one another in a nuclear family and in church we are a spiritual family, and in both cases when we place our trust in Christ together, our commitment and community grows deeper. We need each other to grow together in our discipleship. You may ask why we encourage Family Worship and other Family oriented activities? Fuller Youth Institute research has found that teenagers who are involved in intergenerational relationships in church are more likely to remain faithful to the church following graduation. Teens should not only be the objects of ministry; they need to be the subjects of ministry as well. It’s the 16 year old who has a relationship with a 66 year old and a 6 year old who is more likely to stay involved in a faith community after graduation.
The home extends the ministry of the church into the community. This is a real and tangible way the church moves outside the walls. The home is a key place that is:
● A station of relationship evangelism
● A base for transformational discipleship
● A source for intergenerational relationships
● A satellite for ministry outreach
The family moves and lives outside the walls of the church. Who we interact with in our families and everyday life is how the mission of making disciples happens. You and your family can go places that I will never go, reach people I may never know! The key to all of this is that the church needs family and the family needs the church. We are partners in the mission of making disciples!
What does it look like at WakyMC? We want to walk WITH you and ALONGSIDE you as an individual and family. Our desire is to help equip the family to be on mission together. To make disciples right where they are in the home. We want to offer resources that can enable you to help discern how to navigate life and decisions in today’s culture. We also want to offer opportunities for Family Worship, Family Activities, and a Family Focus. Our desire in a family focus is to not to pull families apart with one more opportunity to “do” something. If you have spent time with me talking through the mission and vision of the family, came to MOTTTs (mothers of tots to teens) meeting (yes, that is ladies only), or just been over to our home you would quickly discover the family dinner table is a big deal. This is the place I believe where family life happens. It is the hub of the home. As a church ministry leader I believe in and want to make a lot of great activities and programs available, but if we are constantly pulling our families apart, taking them away from sitting down for dinner together to process the day and life together is that the best option? Is there a better way? We hope to unveil in the next months and year some new innovative ways to offer family discipleship options and build a culture of real life together.
Over the next few weeks our resources will begin to populate through our website on our @HOME page. Check it out! It will feature our @HOME the Podcast but also plenty of resources on all things HOME and real life. Our WakyMC at Home Facebook page will share when new podcasts are released, feature our blogs, and other key resources. Last and really most importantly, we want to have discussions and write about hot topics that we are all facing and questions you may have. We have set up an email - firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an easy way to not only give us feedback, but ask questions, give us ideas on content you would like us to cover.
Lastly, this is all going to be made available and we are excited about some of the upcoming hot topics we are going to cover: Technology and the family, Sports and the family, and the list goes on! But here is where it comes back to you… We challenge you to form your own family mission, take and listen, read, use the resources to help live it out and make a difference in your home and family. The bottom line is what we are about….Life Transformation! So tune into the podcast, find us on our website, and join the conversation at home around the dinner table, because family matters.