Tuesday, November 6, 2012

God Never Intended for Organzied Religion to Replace the Family

Every time I turn around someone is trying to think up ways to get people connected or more engaged in the Christian life.  I've got shelves of books dedicated to the subject.  We spend countless manhours thinking up things for people to do and places to serve, when, in fact, a place of minsitry already exists for every one of us - it exists in our own homes beginning with our spouse and our own children.  It's the emphasis of the church that is usually off-base. 

For example, churches everywhere are trying to crack the code in men’s ministry.  Some churches try big events where they bring in top-flight speakers and musicians.  Other churches opt for weekly Bible studies geared towards practical, real-life issues.  Some churches host hunting and wild game dinners.  Still others opt for the weekly accountability meeting or small group approach.  All of these emphases are designed to answer one question:  How do we get men engaged?

Ironically, all of these approaches leave out the preeminent Biblical mandate that God has already given to men – the mandate to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 5:25-6:4).  We fail to hold men’s feet to the fire and equip them to lead in their families.

And men remain unconnected despite the best efforts that churches can muster for a mens minsitry.

The same is true for virtually every other ministry typically offered by churches.  They keep trying to crack the code to get people engaged, but overlook the mandate that already exists in the Bible.  The Bible is filled comparable instruction for parents, wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, men, women, children, aged women, young women, aged men, young men, singles, widows, young married couples, and everyone else in-between.

We don’t have to think up stuff for people to do; it’s already been thought up by God.  Our job is to promote a Bible view of marriage, family, and home life (whatever its configuration is).

The church, of all institutions, should pull the family together, not apart.

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