You may look at our church and come to the conclusion that we don’t have anything for our kids. Sure we have Children’s Church, but after reading the last few posts, it sounds like we’d rather not have that either. We don’t have a youth group. We don’t have a tween group. In fact, we don’t have a church-run singles ministry, married couples ministry, women’s and men’s ministries, young adults ministry, the list goes on. KBC seems to not have all the ministries that other churches have. What’s up with that?
Nothing is intrinsically wrong with any of those ministries. There are dangers of relying on socially and generationally segmented ministries but that’s for another post at another time. However, I would suggest that KBC aims to care for all of these groups of people (specifically for this post, for families) in an intentional way that not only brings people together that can bear each other’s burdens, but also reveals the gospel in a way that God, in his wisdom, has intended for his people. It’s called The Church. I’ll explain what I mean and then bring it back to Family Ministry.
Take, for example, the church in Ephesus. They had Jews and Gentiles in their church. Each had different needs, struggles, social statuses, citizenship, upbringings, and, on top of all of that, the cultural differences that should make them hostile toward one another. But something happened, didn’t it?
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” Ephesians 2:13–16
They didn’t have a small group for Jews and a small group for Gentiles. They were one because that is exactly what Jesus accomplished on the cross when he died. When you have time, check out the parallelism of Ephesians 2:1-10 and 2:11-22. We so often personalize 2:1-10 and forget that it grounds our unity because no one has a right to boast since we are saved by grace. The church is his workmanship, his masterpiece! And he’s showing off his wisdom in this design to the world, both physical and spiritual.
“So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:10
This type of community reveals the wisdom of God in the gospel because the gospel is the only explanation that people, who you don’t normally see together in the world, are together, loving one another, caring for each other, preferring one another, meeting needs, forgiving one another, and outdoing one another in showing honor. Yes, it is good and beneficial for people of similar life experiences to gather together. But if this is what we label as “community”, and as a successful community at that, then we’re in danger of building community that would exist even if God didn’t.*
So how does this relate to Family Ministry at KBC?
This means that we utilize the means God intends to disciple, grow, sharpen, encourage, admonish, and train families and their children. We believe this happens through the gathering of the church, with all its members actively serving one another, especially through our differences, so that Jesus Christ is made famous.
It means that we utilize what is already existing and available to every member (Small Groups, Sunday School, and Wednesday Night Prayer) and we encourage our families and children to be active participants in them. That will bring with it challenges and friction. But because of the cross, where Jesus died to kill the things that can sinfully separate us, he not only unites us to one another but he is also particularly revealed as supremely and manifoldly wise!
Does this all sound repetitive? Don’t we realize we’ve just been saying the same thing over and over and over again in these Family Ministry posts? Yes.
*A helpful book on this concept is a book by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop “The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive”.