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Church and Family

“The church and the family are inherently connected to one another, and the well-being of one is dependent on the other.” - Chris Shirley, Family Ministry and the Church: A Leader's Guide for Ministry Through Families

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. When you look at your family and your home, how do you see the church reflected? And when you look at your church, how do you see your family reflected? My prayer is that you find reflections of both in each other. In the simplest ways for our family it can look like my kids being so comfortable at church that they run through the halls towards friends without shoes while carrying their worship bag and goldfish. They feel such a sense of belonging, security, acceptance, and love… just like home. And in our home, we see reflections of church when we read the Bible together, worship together, pray together, or when Eloise decides it’s time to lead VBS worship rallies to her stuffed animals and dolls. It’s all woven together, it's all one. It’s all a partnership.

Chris Shirley says it well that church and family are dependent on one another. The spiritual health of our home will most certainly be reflected in the spiritual health of our church and vice versa. My first prayer, then, is that at UBC we all feel a sense of “home,” and at home or living our lives throughout the week we feel a sense of “church”. 

This week we kick off one aspect of the UBC Family Ministry efforts with, FAM JAM. In efforts like this we hope to provide a space for families (of all ages, sizes and generations) to come together, build community and create an engaging, relevant and memorable experience. Jason and I will be talking through all the ways we implement family ministry (not just youth and kids) into our year. We believe ministry to the whole family is so important for the spiritual formation of a child or youth. The sad statistic is that Jason and I will spend about 20-40 hours a year with a student, parents will spend about 3000 hours a year with their child(ren). This is why we do things like send home devotional books and engaging placemats for littles. We encourage parents to use the parent cue app to see what we learn on Sundays and implement the conversation more throughout the week. We make resources available, and provide moments throughout the year for us to connect, whether it be moms (see you September 8!), or families, or daddy/daughter or mommy/son events. 

My prayer for our church and homes this year is best reflected in Psalm 78:2-7:

“I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children, 
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.”

I pray that in a countercultural way we will be a church where families make time for spiritual formation in the home, reflecting the church, and the church would continue to be a place that values families so that UBC is an extension of your home. They should be and feel one in the same (even in the good and bad). I pray you find that reflection at UBC and in your home so that the “next generation will always know the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.”

Posted by Martha Harvey