Following on from our last post about a family weekend away together, Rob outlines what the Jubilee family is about. You can hear him speaking on this subject in this podcast.
Church is family not an organisation
The place where God lives amongst his people is the church. The church is his body here on earth – his family.
It’s all about family, a family where God is our Father, and we are his sons and daughters,
and the worldwide church is your family. It is important to know that the church is a family not an organisation.
God the Father sent his son… for the church. The Son of God did not come all the way from heaven to suffer and die – to lay down his life and to be raised again – to start a business!
Church is not a business.
It’s not here to make money and to promote different personalities. Jesus didn’t come to make us his employees – no, he gave us the right to be called sons.
And we were made a part of his family not because we have worked our way up and got hired – no we are born into it which means also that we can’t get fired when we mess up either – nothing you do can change the fact that you are family.
Church is a family home not a restaurant.
When you go to a restaurant you want a good service, you want a great atmosphere, you want all your needs attended to and good value for money and if it doesn’t match up? Well, you call the manager and make a complaint! Or perhaps you just never go there again!
But church is not a restaurant – it’s not for consumers – it’s ‘God’s household’ (1 Tim 3:14) (his family home), and we are all invited to play our part in the service of one another and of the King – to be waiters in His courts. You can be a consumer of the church or a part of the family. We all play our part and we are all needed in this family!
Church is not even a building.
You know there are some great church buildings around. But He doesn’t live in buildings unless it is a building made of people because the church is ‘his body’ (Eph 1:23) “…A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION” (1 Pe 2:9). God lives with a people that belong to him and they are his family.
Church is not even about the meetings.
You don’t have to go and see your family to be related. It doesn’t change anything – it’s just sad. It’s not about the meetings. It’s about a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father who loves you… and when you know that love? Well, you just want to be around him and be where he is… and where is he? Oh God is with his people – that’s where he lives!
Family, family, family.
It has always been about family. It started with a family who were told to go out and fill all the whole earth with family; the great promise came through a family that all the nations of the earth would be blessed – we are part of that family. It was through the lineage of one royal family that Jesus would eventually be born.
We are family… The church is made up of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters – all of different ages and stages, shapes and sizes, characters and personalities – yes we’ve got those too!
We are not colleagues, we are not associates, we are not even volunteers – we are a family and this understanding must go to the root of all that we do together as church.
Church as family affects how we do church and how we are led.
It affects how we care for one another and the style of leadership within the church.
There’s no doubt about it that leadership in the church is important because although church is not an organisation neither is it a disorganisation. I mean can you imagine what would happen if nothing in your family nothing was ever planned?
Families have to be led and fed, organised and grown up if they are to thrive and ultimately reproduce. So leadership is needed but what kind of leadership? Well, its fathers and mothers who lead families.
When I view church as a family, and my leadership model is that of a father, I am motivated and function completely differently. Rather than dominate, I want to see others released. Rather than feel threatened, I want to see people flourish. Rather than control, I want to encourage and guide.
Leaders who parent grow sons and daughters who will themselves in time become fathers and mothers too. This creates an atmosphere where everyone flourishes and reaches their full potential in God. That’s our job. To work ourselves out of a job and hand things on to future generations.
Mothers and Fathers
We need mothers as well as fathers in the church and you know I would find it hard to define exactly what difference mothers bring to the church without resorting to stereotype except to say that it is different to fathers and different is good and I know that we need both.
This is the biblical model, mothers and fathers raising powerful sons and daughters who will themselves grow to be mothers and father themselves!
We are building a culture of family at Jubilee. A culture where we look after one another, serve one another, honour one another, support one another, and release one another into all that God has got for each individual and for the Jubilee family.