the good way


Active participation in the family of Jesus

As followers of Jesus, we want to cultivate relationships of depth, service and celebration within our church family. We want to discover our God-given identity and use our gifts to encourage and empower others.

God exists in a family called the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Out of their loving communion, life was created. As the family of God we are invited to express and reflect the love and community of the Trinity in the way that we love each other.

When God was creating humankind, he said: “It is not good for man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18

Even in the midst of the perfect communion that existed before the Fall, God desired that people would have companionship and community outside of him. We are not designed to journey alone. We need people. It is one of the great mysteries of God’s design that although we are most often wounded relationally, we are also most often healed relationally.

In the life of Jesus, we can see clearly the importance of cultivating relationships of depth and vulnerability. Jesus had twelve close friends, who became like family for him. And within that twelve, he even had an inner circle of three particularly close friends - Peter, James and John. Jesus invited those disciples to share in his most glorious moments, as well as his most sorrowful ones. If Jesus invited his friends into the deepest parts of his soul, how much more should we?

Jesus wants to expand our notion of what family actually is. The kind of family that Jesus invites us to participate in involves honoring, loving and serving others. Jesus modelled for us what it looks like to take the lowest place and invites us to do the same.

“Not so with you. Instead whoever wants to become great among you must become a servant, and whoever wants to be first must be a slave.” Matthew 20:26

Through our love for each other, the world will see and experience who God is. The Church is the body of Christ and we are each invited to use our own unique gifts and abilities to edify and build up the family of God. We are called to work in harmony, to be interdependent and to pursue unity in the midst of diversity.

In our church family we want to pursue spiritual friendships, where we can give and receive mutual love and support. We want to serve by using our gifts to empower, encourage and care for others in our family. We also want to seek out people and places that will inspire us to grow into greater Christlikeness. In response to the invitation of the Spirit, we want to find ways to gather, serve and grow as a means of actively participating in the family of God.

Gather. Give. Grow.

Session video

Personal Reflection

Take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  • What did my family of origin teach me about the nature or function of family?
  • How does my current life reflect the value that Jesus places on spiritual friendship?
  • Who am I intentionally and deeply sharing my life with?
  • What are my spiritual gifts and how am I using those to build up and edify my church community?
  • Who or what has helped me or inspired me to grow in my faith? How/why was that helpful?

Stories of family

Session Resources

To go further with this session, take a look at some of the following activities, readings and other resources: