The Family Dynamic
What’s your most memorable family tradition? What is that one vacation that you took maybe years ago but is continuously told around the dining room table? As you sit there and think through these memories, what kind of feelings do you have? In so many ways, it’s our experiences and memories of our family that form our identity. They tell us who we are and whose we are.
The church, or “gathering” (“ekklesia” in Greek), is often described in the Bible as being a “family,” with each family member playing a distinct role. In the same way that your family is not complete without each person, the church is not complete without you because you are uniquely called and uniquely made to be a part of the family of God. Your gifts are needed in the same way that your body needs your hand. Your passions are needed in the local church because you have been wired specifically to be a part of God’s family!
Uniquely Called to Service
In Ephesians 4:11, we see that God has gifted some men and women to be the equippers of the family of God. They are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers. We would know them as our “ministers.” However, these men and women don’t do the work of the ministry. It is the “saints” who set out to use their gifts to impact each other and the world. You, brother or sister, are called to this. You are uniquely called to make an impact in the world!
As we—the members of God’s family through the local church—begin to use our gifts, something amazing happens! An almost chain reaction of maturity and growth occurs, causing not only the individual members of the body to thrive, but similarly, the entire body begins to function how it should. Ephesians 4:13 says that, as we do the work of the ministry, we will reach unity in the faith and gain knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Do you feel lacking in your faith? Are you using spiritual gifts to serve others? Too many times we think that we have to be mature before we serve, but serving supercharges your walk with Jesus to maturity unimaginable!
Brothers and Sisters, Hand in Hand
We can all agree that there has never been a time when unity was more needed than this present moment. This is especially true for those in the family of God. Christians are most united not when we post our views on social media platforms or even when we agree on every small point of doctrine. Instead, it’s when we are actively engaged in serving and doing the work of ministry together.
When you are on mission with Jesus, you begin to see that even though you are uniquely called with your own skills and gifts, you must have other brothers and sisters in your life to fulfill the task for which we are called. Your family actively builds you up as you serve together.
We’re Called for Keeps
Serving Jesus brings about unity and even causes us to know Jesus more. And as we know Him, we will grow in maturity (Ephesians 4:13). Those who truly have “tasted and seen” that God is good cannot help but grow in their maturity. That is the beauty of the gospel. We grow as we do the work of ministry; we don’t grow to do the work of ministry. Jesus gives us everything that we need to accomplish His purposes and plans, but it’s when we act on those purposes and plans that we are rooted and matured in Christ.
You see, we are a family that is on mission, but we are also a family that loves and supports each other. In the same way that a body nourishes itself, we care for each other. Ephesians 4:15 says that we are to speak the “truth in love” to each other. You are a unique part of this amazing family of God while here on earth. You have a mission to play and a good God to serve. How are you using your gifts to bless your family and your world? When you placed your faith in Jesus, you also inherited a family with all its privileges and responsibilities. We’re called for keeps.