The Family and the Church
There is so much value in families meeting together as families, participating in real fellowship, and caring for one another in a biblical way. When a church grows too large, true fellowship is difficult, logistically, and a church body must make a choice: continue to grow and give up the intimacy and understanding that thrives in a smaller gathering, or divide into smaller "bodies", and continue to enjoy and benefit from the closeness and effectiveness of a small church congregation.
We not only have a responsibility to teach and train our children, but we enjoy our families, and we act like it! We worship together as families during the entire church service, and we've been known to play Four-Square, a board game, or shoot hoops with the kids afterwards! Every father is a youth pastor, and every gray-headed saint is a fount of wisdom. Everyone that the Lord plants in the church family is needed and valuable.
The Christian household is the primary embassy of the kingdom of God and the primary training ground for local church leadership. It is also the social and economic vehicle God has chosen to plant new local churches at home and abroad. As such, it becomes strong by exerting itself in a life-style of ministry.
Unfortunately, for many families in the developed nations, the home has become a place to go when nothing else is open. Responsibilities that God intended to be fulfilled by each household, such as child-training, education and hospitality, have been transferred out of the home into churches, schools and businesses. In the churches Sunday schools, youth groups, and other age-segregated programs attempt to do for families what God intended each household to do for its own members. This further weakens families by allowing them to avoid the very activities that would make them strong and effective for God. Families are restored by returning obediently to their responsibilities.
Worship, Prayer, Service, Prophesy, Leadership, and Evangelism
We all carry the work assigned to the biblical church, and we all have a heart not only for those a part of the Body of Christ, but for those who do not know our Lord yet! We all work together to a common goal, praying for each other and encouraging one another towards their call in Christ. No solitary person must carry it all.
The elders are men who share preaching, worship, and Lord's Table responsibilities, as well as being humbly yielded to one another and to the local fellowship. We are all submitted to the Great Shepherd - Jesus Christ.
"Be examples to the flock...” (1 Peter 5:3) The most important ministry of Elders is to be examples of sound doctrine in action. This is why the qualifications for church Elders (1 Tim. 3:1-15) are based on a man’s ability to manage his own household well. In the context of that life example, through ministry hospitality, each Elder is best able to teach sound Bible doctrine.
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