What is Family Church? Family Church is a gathering of people who are committed to living like Jesus. We believe that we do this when we focus on being present in the lives of others and bless others. That this is required to fully love God and our neighbors. We desire to live in such a way that our friends and neighbors encounter the truth of God's love in our lives.
Why do you meet on Wednesdays? We want to be available to spend time with our neighbors who don't attend church on Sundays. This is the part where we put our money where our mouth is. Are we willing to set aside our tradition and what is comfortable to us in our religious experience to do it differently so that we can be present with our neighbors blessing them?
What happens at Family Church? The first thing is that we share a meal. It is amazing how many stories about Jesus include Jesus eating with someone. There is just something organic and special about eating with someone. We start off with a meal to share that experience and also to share our stories. This vital component of the night allows us to better strengthen our relationships and love for one another just like it does with families. After the meal / hang out time we will share praises of how God has been involved in our lives that week and our concerns for where we need prayer. We may sing a few songs to help us focus on who God is in our lives and then we end the night with a discussion about the scripture of the week. Each Sunday we start reading our scripture of the week so that we are better able to discuss it when we gather on Wednesday. Then we have the rest of the week to re-read the passage to see what new insights we have gained. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Each week we celebrate the Lord's Supper during our family meal. The Lord's Supper or communion is a sacrament that we believe Jesus instructed us to do. The Last Supper was a meal attended by Jesus and His disciples so it seems fitting that we would do it during our meal together. We do believe that God's grace is extended to us during the observance of this sacrament and it is sacred and important, but it shouldn't be scary or weird if you are unfamiliar with it. We will explain what it represents and we always give everyone the option to not join in. The actions taken during communion are that we eat a small piece of bread to represent Jesus body and the fact that He sacrificed it for us, and drink a small amount of grape juice to represent the blood that was shed when Jesus died. We believe that it is the death of Jesus which enables us to be forgiven and have eternal life. I know that may sound weird, but I hope you give us a chance and see what it looks like.
Why do you call it Family Church? We call it Family Church because we want what we do to feel like a healthy family. A healthy family encourages and challenges. A healthy family helps you when you struggle and cheers when you succeed. A healthy family doesn't condemn you for unhealthy choices, but does continue to point you toward healthy ones.
What else should I know? We believe that our primary purpose is to bring hope to the hopeless. It isn't our goal to kick someone when they are down or struggling with an unhealthy choice. It is our goal to point them to Jesus and reveal how Jesus can change their life.
We believe that our primary purpose is to help our neighbors become healthy in the manner in which God created them to be healthy. Our approach is not authoritarian where we dictate to everyone what they must do. Our approach is relational and requires investment and trust so that we can coach them and touch their heart.
We believe that our primary purpose is to heal our neighbors. Actually we believe that the Holy Spirit is the primary agent in the healing process, but we like to do everything we can to assist. Not all people are healed instantly. Not all people are healed in the same way. But we do believe that Jesus desires to heal us and to help us be healthy. Sometimes that does happen quickly and sometimes it takes a lifetime of struggle to get there. We don't pretend to understand why, but we trust that God who is actively working to save and heal all of humanity is doing everything necessary to make it happen. We do also think that it is a lot easier for God when we obey.
Family Church is a Church of the Nazarene and as such it operates according to the manual of the Church of the Nazarene.