One authority on the family, psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner, bemoans the segregation of age. He maintains that interaction with people of different ages is all-important to the preservation of the family.
To end this segregation, which is particularly acute in suburban living, Bronfenbrenner and others recommend that architects plan community clusters where children, parents, and the elderly can intermingle, each bringing experiences, knowledge and support to the other.
What an ideal opportunity the church has to provide an example of the extended family to a society bewailing its demise!
Tom Skinner, the late noted evangelist, often spoke of the church as Christ’s new community here on earth, a model to the world of what is happening in His kingdom in Heaven. Tom points to Acts 2:44, which reads:
And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need.
He would then declare in his inimitable black style:
We are a family. Brothers and sisters in Christ. What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.
Then when people ask, “Where’s love?” we can an swer, “Over
When they ask, “Where’s Just1ce’ we can answer, “Over here!”
When they ask, “Where’s unity?” we can shout, “Over here! In Christ’s new community!”
May I add that when they ask, “What’s happened to the family?” we should be able to respond, “It’s alive and well. It’s here—in this community cluster, this warm, sheltering, loving, accepting body of Christ!”
True, many churches don’t experience family—but they can. A sense of life together can be developed. We are able to create these opportunities within the body of Christ, among the children of God, just as we can in our smaller household groups—our families.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.