Tag Archives: church family

Growing and Giving

I try to live my life like my father lives his. He always takes care of everyone else first. He won’t even start eating until he’s sure everyone else in the family has started eating. Another thing: My dad never judges me by whether I win or lose. ~Ben Roethlisberger

If you give a mouse a cookie, you better have crayons and cleaning supplies handy, as well as a glass of milk.

It’s funny how one thing leads to another.

An old friend was bemoaning the state of her church and that “young people just don’t seem to care” about being involved in church life.

Many times what seems important to one person is brushed aside by others.

A Christmas pageant is planned and only half the children are involved. A community yard sale for charity is scheduled and not enough people participate to make it a success. An elderly couple’s home needs to be weatherized before winter and only the two oldest men in the congregation show up to help.

Our lives are so busy that it’s easy to pass by these opportunities. We have our own schedules, priorities, and problems.

What can be done?

The early church seemed to have an answer: eating and praising.

Sounds too simple, doesn’t it?

Yet, when we take time to eat with people, we also take time to talk. Talking leads to concern and compassion. That leads to reworking our schedules and serving others.

And THAT leads to encountering Christ.

So grab a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. It’s time to share Jesus with the world.

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15 ESV

Loving a Church Family

church people“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” Barbara Bush

Surrounded by a large group of old, white men, I felt deflated. We had spent the last year living with my in-laws while Matt finished his dissertation and looked for a job. Now we were interviewing, and I wasn’t feeling the love. The interview was lackluster in my opinion.

The questioning was nearly over and we were asked if we had any concerns. “Yes,” I said. “I am moving my family halfway across the country, away from all of the family they have ever known. What will you do for us?”

Their blank stares told me all I needed to know. This was not the place for us. One rotund man began singing the praises of the school system. My kids were toddlers.

Finally a quiet man in the rear of the room spoke up, “If you are wanting someone to step in and be surrogate grandparents, my wife and I would be happy to do that. Our grandchildren live halfway across the world.”

“Thank you. That is what I was asking.”

I told Matt later that I was voting “NO” for the position until that gentleman answered. We took the job and moved. My initial instinct was right. We should have stayed home.

Our current church has not been without its own lackluster moments, but our rubber has never had to meet the road because when it comes to “family” they have it right.

They have attended our son’s plays. They have visited school programs. They talk to the boys about school, work, plans, ideas, books, whatever.

But it isn’t just the kids. They have embraced me, and I am not the quiet, submissive, stereotypical preacher’s wife. Embracing me has been prickly for some of them, I know.

But they love me. They pray for me and my plans, dreams, and aspirations. They ask about my parents’ health. They let me cry and dance. They celebrate with me. They listen to me, offer help, rescue me when the dog sitter doesn’t show, and most importantly . . . They love my husband.

My church family is just that: a family. We have squabbles, disagreements, controversy, and discord. Of course, so does my biological family.

But just like the blood family, my church family has fun together, works together, defends each other, encourages each other, loves each other.

One of our family members says that our biological families share the blood of our veins, but our church family shares the blood of our souls.

I quite agree. I love you, Church Family.

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:10-13 ESV