I find it interesting how some churches identify themselves as a family, yet they don’t display many of the characteristics that define one.For instance, the leaders (parents) of a family should disciple, love, and train their children to mature and eventually start their own family in which they disciple, love, and train their children to do the same. It’s biological, it’s natural, and it’s God’s original and redeeming plan for humans. In fact, he establishes this at least three times throughout the Bible.
- After creating man for the first time and before the fall of man. “Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.'” – Genesis 1:28
- After starting over with Noah and his family. “Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.” – Genesis 9:7
- When Jesus sends out his disciples. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19
As you can see, God is all about multiplying. Sadly, though, many churches are more about accumulating and pulling people in without raising them and sending them back out. It’s no surprise, then, that the majority of churches struggle all the time to be like megachurches but just can’t seem to find the right program to set things off. Thankfully, God is for us, and as we turn back to him for guidance, he will lead us to a more authentic way of following him, one that’s narrow and hard, but so simple and worth it.
I yearn to see more churches—in fact, the whole body of Christ—be a unified family bent on discipleship and becoming more like Christ. That way, we will grow and be able to multiply, being who we were meant to be and glorifying our Father who is so good to us in all his love and patience.