Imagine every evening your family sat at the dinning room table for a business meeting. The parents pull out the finances and assess all the decisions that had been made that day to help the family be “successful.” Timmy is in trouble because he keeps leaving the light on in the bathroom. Jake mowed the grass so he is seen as a value because he saved the family from having to hire a lawn person…etc. Each person gets evaluated and valued/de-valued by a set of business metrics to make sure the family is moving in the “right direction” and that the family empire is growing. Rather than family connection being emphasized, the family gets caught up on decision making around brick mortar, dollars and cents.
Meanwhile, everyone is estranged from each other…no one wants a deep conversation. Connection is lacking. This family isn’t really a family…it is a business partnership.
Church can be like that.
Churches have a choice to make. They can choose to be a business or a family. You can’t prioritize both.
The business side looks appealing because we like to see easily measured growth. We like the feeling of numerical success…empire building and branding.
But is that really church?
Churches didn’t start with professionals pulling off business models. They started with everyday people in spiritual families of faith doing life together. We would be wise to do the same.
What does church as a spiritual family look like?
1 – Time together in informal relational environments
2 – Transparency and vulnerability in a safe space
3 – Identifying and using gifts to build up the family (Eph 4:11f)
4 – Intergenerational connection
5 – Serving together on mission
6 – Shared identity
7 – Offering reciprocal blessing in word and deed
8 – Spiritual intimacy with God and others
9 – Being in close proximity for extended periods of time
10 – A healthy sense of play and playfulness