To agree or disagree with that statement has its implications; FAMILY is at the heart of all the Father is working towards he is a God whose in every way moves, acts, conducts himself in regard to bring a Family about. The goal of God is the Restoration of all things through his family, through sons of God.
As you read Paul’s interactions with the New Testament church, you have to conclude his language is full of family, he uses mother, brother, father, sister, language constantly, he even called the church his children and as an apostolic father he mothered the church. Somewhere we seem to have lost the language of the ‘ecclesia’ – church, family language. The modern world has brought government and hierarchical issues to bear on the ‘ecclesia’, rather than the ‘ecclesia’ holding on to family and Trinitarian patterns. Positions and titles have taken over rather than familial understanding.
Now hear me loud and clear, this is not a treaty to eradicate apostles, prophets ministers etc., far from it, it is rather to establish and honour correctly, that the ‘ecclesia’ of God might mature and “be” advancing in its servant hood towards God and his creation, being the true representation of the Father in the earth. I believe that apostle through to evangelise is fully necessary to bring maturity to the body of Christ with one missing mature eludes us, but its not by name but by gifts of christ they must be present
It is a day when 250 million people have found faith and a staggering 125 million new church communities have been established, all in the last 6 years it’s reported. We live in a day when 112 million people have left the organised church for the sake of their faith in the USA, and are discovering relationship with others in homes around Christ. My appeal is for a mature relationship model as opposed to the importing of an organisational model from the business world or any other kind of world. In the business world, titles and positions become ever so important rather than relationships, in this something has been lost from the center. We have the language of relationships but end up with organisations, we have networks being proliferated but people are lonely and alone in the world of want works matters and leadership. Leadership gathers talk pragmatic the how but rarely find true friendship – relationship. Yet Jesus called people to be with him and he moved them from servants to friends did he not?
Paul brought familial language constantly and establishes a relationship pattern, a family pattern in every way
We take passages from 1 Corinthians to assist us in congregational life in bring order to meetings, yet it is now well accepted that these verses had nothing to do with meetings as we know them today. Chapter 11 outlines the breaking of bread and sets out from then how to conduct yourself in relation to gifts and functions etc., Where does all this take place? All around the table, in a home not in a meeting as we see today. There is nothing stopping us taking principles from these verses and applying them to whatever setting we choose, but always seek to remember the context it was written for.
I would suggest to you that Paul’s language of government was familial brother, mother, father, sister, and children and in the midst of this apostles, elders, prophets, pastors, teachers, deacons, and evangelists were found, even gifts of stirring leadership are evident and necessary. They father and matured children, mother and birthed new babes into the ‘ekklesia’ while the ministers functioned. They loved as fathers and mothers and certainly never became celebrities. They were servants of Christ and the ‘ekklesia’ of God, who the people honoured fully, therefore the people received the reward in their receiving the gift and of the Christ through these ministries.
Lets back up just a little no one would differ with the statement that the ‘ecclesia’ is a family, the challenge is our view of ‘success’ and our chase for success, our modern environment influencing us to a perception that is organizationally. Some times the idea that big is beautiful creeps over the family wall and creates something other than the relational family that we have been born into. There is nothing incorrect with big so-called as the life of Christ in the ‘ekklesia’ come it will produce life. The issue is not the concept but how we so quickly allow our practice to create an organisational church rather than a familial ekklesia. It is necessary for us to rediscover what the Father is after, what is this restorative goal he has, and what is the primary reason of us being on earth ‘bring heaven to earth’. Making Christ fill all in all, he will remain in heaven until a season of restoration (Acts 3:19-21). Ask yourself what does that ‘all in all’ look like?
The Father has brought a way for us to gain our sonship back through the Son, the orphan way of life and condition we have been born into is eradicated by sonship. The reason for our sonship and salvation is “to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12), hear it to every one is given power that is the ability, the notion of privilege or right, the opportunity, to become a son. Sonship is a process of maturing, as we take up the right and ability. Each one of us are children of God, born from above now, and we process, mature into sonship, a life knowing the will and mind of God, and move in the inheritance of God laid up for us all.
The Father sent his Son to bring, to redeem the orphans that humanity had become along with its associated life style constantly protecting along with making ways of provision for themselves. While the Son enabled us to entre into a family who lives by their inheritance living that is trusting on the Father and protected by He who camps around his people there by eradicating protection and provision through sonship.
This journey we now travel as a family is a process, which is captured in the Psalms, the people travelled in families, ascending to Jerusalem, for us today, being born again, the ‘ecclesia’ as the new Jerusalem, the Zion, the Mountain of the Lord we have nothing to ascend as God has come to where we are, but we do mature and become sons of God as we are led by the Spirit (Romans 8)
More to follow!