the weblog of Alan Knox

Are we a family?

Posted by on Feb 23, 2009 in community, fellowship | 2 comments

Yesterday, for the second Sunday in a row, I did not meet with the church. A stomach bug decided to visit me beginning Saturday afternoon.

As I was thinking about my friends getting together; talking about their lives; talking about what God is doing; talking about their plans; laughing, crying, hugging, speaking, listening… I missed them. As much as I like singing, I didn’t miss singing. As much as I like to learn, I didn’t miss the teaching. I missed the people.

While I was at home, I watched part of an NCIS marathon. One episode highlights a troubled family: father, mother, daughter, and son. At one point, the daughter makes the following statement to one of the NCIS agents:

We may be four people, but we’re not a family.

I thought about that statement for a long time. I can look back over my life and recognize that I have been part of many groups of people that were not families.

I can also recognize that God has now placed me among people who are family to me. There’s a huge difference between being part of a group of people and being part of a family.

Maybe among the chruch we can start asking ourselves: Are we a family? How are we demonstrating that we’re a family?


2 Comments

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  1. 2-23-2009

    When I hear this topic mentioned, I remember a 30’s something single man who attended the IC we attended. At a potluck several people made numerous comments about the church being a family.

    This man said that he felt only some people thought that it was – those people who were part of certain groups. He said that he did not find it that way.

    He gave several examples:
    -He had gone to an event sponsored by the women’s group. Even though the info. did not say that it was limited to women, that was apparently what they had intended. They told him to leave and not come to any more of their functions.
    -He said he had never been invited to any function that was not open to everyone
    -He said several people in the church viewed him with suspicion as a single man. He was friendly and talked to everyone, including women, teens and so on. Some men did not want him talking to their wives or daughters.
    (He was not strange. He was not looking for a girlfriend or whatever. He married a very nice lady who was not part of that church, and moved to another city.)

    When I hear anyone refer to the “church” as family, I think of that man, and wonder if we really treat everyone as family. Do we include everyone, and treat everyone more or less equally, not just certain people?

    His observations must have had some validity – They made several people angry. (My wife and I thought he had hit the nail on the head, and observed that the people who were angry were the people who were very “cliqueish”.)

  2. 2-23-2009

    Sam,

    You bring up something that is vital to our understanding of the church as family: We MUST listen to one another! The “cliqueish” people that you mentioned demonstrated that they did not really care about the man. How? They were more concerned with their own image or showing themselves to be right than they were concerned about the man and what he said. The man was hurt… a family would circle around him and help him, not point fingers at others.

    This is the type of introspection that we need as the church. We live as family, and as we learn more about God, ourselves, and others, we live MORE like a family. But, we have to be willing to truly learn – the good, bad, and ugly.

    -Alan