I introduced the Biblical concept of marriage as ministry a couple of weeks ago, so it makes sense to lift up family as ministry as well. In Genesis 12, God speaks to Abram about a blessing that is the foundation for the birth of the nation of Israel. This blessing is also connected to the family tree of Jesus mentioned in the first chapter of Matthew.
This is the context in which I want to deal with family as ministry. Could it be that if all God had to work with was the family that the Kingdom of God could be expanded? I believe so. Family is a blessing from God and can be a vehicle of the extension and expression of God’s love. If marriage is a ministry, the family is a ministry as well that builds upon the gift of a God-centered Covenant.
The problem is that many people use family as a place to primarily get their individual needs met. This can cause family to be a place of envy, competitiveness, and abuse. Family is first and foremost about God. Family ought to be a picture on the earth of the community and culture of God’s Kingdom. This possibility is about experiencing family God’s way verses our way. Our families regardless of what they look like right now could be transformed into vehicles of love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, truth, and compassion.
Think deeply this week about how God wants to use you in your family to express who God is. God may want to be a reconciler through you in your family today. Will you let God be this through you? God may want to express compassion in your family today through you. Will you allow God to be God in and through you?
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.