A Family Affair01 December, 2017
One does not have to look too hard in Scripture to find the value that God places upon the family. The last few verses of the Old Testament speaks of the restoring of relationships among fathers to the children. The close of the Church Age features the Lord as the Bridegroom being joined with His Bride (Church).
It’s in satan’s interest to divide and conquer through any means possible so as to thwart the purposes of God. It’s true; a house divided will not stand. How does Cornerstone measure up when examined as a family? Do we appropriate the Biblical values of family within the church and the overall Body of Christ? Perhaps two recent events will help to bring perspective to this important subject.
The recently-concluded FOPx meetings featured a gathering of young people representing 102 churches here in Singapore. These meetings were highlighted at the Kingdom Synergies luncheon this week in preparation for the 40-day prayer and fasting event in 2018. If the sought-after revival is to materialise in Singapore, it’ll require the uniting of generations, flowing and aligning as one-family unit.
There must be a mutual recognition of our need for one another. Each and every person has a part and it’s critical that all come into that place of identity and purpose. There was a symbolic act employed at the close of the meeting where leaders from respective generations prayed for one another. It’s a unity and convergence that must be established in wisdom through the workings of the Holy Spirit.
The message of family can also be illustrated through the recently-concluded Bible College of Wales (BCW) semester. There were 30 students representing 13 nations from varied denominations and generational backgrounds. Over the 12 weeks, there was a noticeable cohesion that developed amongst the students. The initial challenges of close community living with unfamiliar people later gave way to a notable dependence and appreciation for one another.
A resounding comment that echoed in the closing weeks was that the school was taking on the make-up of a closely-knit family. This family dynamic enhanced the chapel and classroom experience in the concluding weeks of the school term. One could get the sense of what it meant to be “in one accord” in the Upper Room prior to the birthing of the Early Church (Acts 2:1).
It was the Lord who brought each student together for this special 3-month period. It wasn’t a gathering that would’ve formed on its own due to the varied cultures and generations that assembled. The person of the Holy Spirit moved and worked in the lives of each individual resulting in a class identity that the students would be able to take forward.
One of the lessons I’ve learned as a Dean in the bible school is that each student has a message and a uniqueness that benefits the whole class. The Holy Spirit must be given room to work so as to unleash the God-given message for the overall strengthening of the Body.
The challenges ahead are daunting and they’ll intensify. The principle is the same whether one is a senior pastor, the head of a business or a home. As leaders and laypeople, we must be proactive in seeing the potential in each person and realise there’s a place for each one in God’s family. We must not make an allowance for an orphan spirit in Cornerstone.
Take time to appreciate people from another generation or learn to take interest in a person you’ve never met. This will open the door for the Holy Spirit to work within the framework of the church, resulting in a strong family environment where everyone has a part. God loves families and He loves for His children to be in harmony with one another. Cornerstone is a growing church that’s been entrusted with an increasing end-time mandate. In going forward, we must always be mindful that our work and mission as a church is a family affair.
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. “God sets the solitary in families: He brings out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land” (Ps 68:5-6).
Pastor Tim O’Connell