One of the things I most appreciate about church is the many “AHA!” moments. God has given me a pastor who is unique and obviously chosen just for me. He sees things in the Bible that I’ve never noticed before, and shares them in ways that can be truly unforgettable. I don’t know how many times I’ve been sitting in church and, whether through his specific words or the Holy Spirit using his words as a springboard, been shown something I’ve never seen before.
I love sharing those moments with the rest of the family too, hearing what they take away from the service, seeing how each of us implements the things we’ve learned, and learning more from friends with whom I “geek out” over the Word. No, we don’t stand around all day talking about religious matters, but many a lunch has turned into a “Have you ever noticed…?” session. Again, family shares common interests, and these particular common interests help us grow in the Lord as we share and learn from one another – as “iron sharpens iron.”
This is something that is particularly hard to explain to someone who has never experienced a church family. Even if you go to church, but are one of those who arrive late and leave early, you’ve likely never known what I’m talking about. I don’t just “go to church.” I spend time, at least twice a week, with my church family.
Family dynamics can be just as complicated in church families as in biological families. Relationship building requires time, and clashing cultures can create moments of confusion. As is true in any family, you have times of both triumph and testing. Nothing can take the place of my biological family, and nothing can take the place of my church family. If God told me to move, I would, but barring that I’m stuck to these people like glue.
When you’re an active part of the right church family, the family God has called you to, you are covered in love and surrounded by people who’ve got your back. Jesus said, in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” In my church family, we have this love for one another, and it shows. It’s one more irreplaceable gift that comes from being a “fitly joined together” part of a church.