What is the purpose of family?
As a parent of two young children, I'd rather not think about it. But if I must think of what the long term purpose is, I think I'd say something like this:
To create an environment where my children are supported and trained so they can mature and grow into responsible adults. The goal is that they will grow up, leave home, live a fulfilling life and likely start their own family.
How does that sound? Am I missing something?
I'm not the expert on this... but lately I've been seeing parallels between family and how I view church life.
Do you think we should view church life in a similar way as we view family?
Should we expect new believers to grow up and mature in their faith to the point that they go out and continue to build the church family elsewhere. Like parenting, it's likely hard to push the kids out of the nest when they are ready. But shouldn't we be preparing for this?
The traditional church does well with this as long as the mature believer is moving far away to build up the church in a different location. These people are called missionaries and church planters. But how often are believers encouraged go build the church in a setting next door? That would likely be viewed as competition and breaking unity.
Should we try to keep the whole family together under one roof? Just keep building bigger buildings and programs? Just keep feeding baby food as long as possible since maturity isn't really required?
How do you think the early church operated?