Getting Started in Family Life That Builds the Church
by Dick Wulf
What would you do if you became convinced that your family was one of your best opportunities to honor and obey Jesus Christ? How would you respond if you realized that wherever two or three believers are gathered in His name, Jesus is among you? Are you clear on what He wants you to do?
The following suggestions come from my professional training, in which I learned what makes small groups of people successful in both relationships and the group’s purpose.
It is very important to agree on a biblically significant purpose for your family, one that recognizes you are a key part of the larger church. Your purpose should describe a result, not merely an activity. “To be a family” is not adequate. And, since God made each of us to need help (“Adam needed a helper” — Genesis 2:18), it is best to include the phrase “to help one another” in your purpose statement. My suggestion is that you adopt something like the following as a family purpose: The purpose of our family is to glorify God by helping one another enjoy life and be all that God wants us to be as individuals and as a family.
Discuss among yourselves the costs of working toward becoming such a family, considering your newly adopted purpose. Things to consider may include but are not limited to the following: (a) commitment to help each other and being on everyone’s side; (b) letting Jesus lead, (c) keeping things about the family and each other private; (d) learning the Togethers of Scripture and letting these instructions from God guide family behavior.
Agree with each other to pursue the purpose and do whatever is needed to work toward fulfilling it.
Brainstorm more specific things that might be required of your family to accomplish the purpose (regular family meetings, making time to do good deeds together as a team, the freedom for any member to call a family meeting, once cleared with a parent, etc.). Remember that the “family purpose” should guide this discussion. This a good time to look over the list of 65 Togethers of Scripture, because these are the specific things that need to be done together as a family to glorify God.
Brainstorm the many things that could prevent the family from being what God wants it to be (mean behavior, not doing chores, arguing, etc.).
Read the article “How to Lead a Family as a Family.”
Perhaps it would be good to discuss what it means for your family to be part of the kingdom of God. Here are suggested actions from the “Family Together with Jesus” card included in the 65-card deck available.