“We Were Family Before Ministry”
Ending Competition, Racism, Sexism, and Healing the wounded with One Revelation
My sister (in-law/ BFF) and I love the Voxer app. It’s an audio walkie talkie app that we use to chat, pray, and make one another laugh all day. As busy moms, we function using apps but it’s not what connects us. Prayer and our passion for Jesus binds our hearts together. We both have three children and are very alike in how we process the world’s problems. I knew when she walked into the room with my brother-in-law years ago; she was going to be family. ( Although she didn’t know it yet) I told her when they were dating, with tongue-in-cheek, that if he didn’t marry her, I’d disown him and adopt her. God gave me such a passion for seeing her know Him deeply. Now, she travels and serves in the ministry; when we are together, I introduce her has my sister —not my sister-in-law; or with a ministry title. It is so much fun to watch the expressions on the faces of people.
Why? She has a lot more melanin than I do. Yep, she’s black, and I’m white. But we are sisters!
It’s not the personality or natural ties that make us family; although we have a blast together. If you hear her tell it, she was quite intimidated by my fire for Jesus when she first met me. Eventually, she was ablaze and hungry because of Jesus’s love for her. I’m not that great, but for some reason, my hunger for Jesus makes others hungry, so I’ve been told.
On Voxer one day, we were discussing the pains of broken relationships and misplaced lingo used in current streams of ministry. We didn’t think about the connection between the misplaced lingo and reconciliation issues. We talked about guarding our hearts, keeping prayer and family at the forefront as ministry work is increasing.
(She’s quite the inner-healing guru- she is always analyzing the root of issues to understand why there is bad fruit. She’s pretty awesome. You need to know her.)
FAMILY & RECONCILIATION:
LINGO OR A
Sometimes the word family is used to identify commonality instead of a deep bond in Christ that stands through the storms of life. Relationship in the body of Christ is often predicated on ministry affiliation, skin tone, gender, denomination, and the like; making the need to define our use of the word family even more urgent.
The issues in our society like racism are rooted in sin and the fallen nature of humanity. All evil stems from the sin nature. As Christians, we say that Jesus is the answer, and we are His representatives. Absolutely! Truth, but we need to step up our game and grab ahold of Jesus’s intercession for oneness in John 17. Also let us intercede for the true manifestation of John 13:35
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Broken Family in the Church Culture
Prayer alone has a way of binding hearts spiritually, but also we must weep with one another, rejoice with one another, eat with one another, and help one another. Heart motivation is key! When I’m with my sister, we are not looking at one another’s skin tone or background. We don’t care about our past differences we see our likenesses in Christ. We are truly family.
Serving one another is from the motivation of love not out of obligation to an organization or club.
Jesus gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
Reconciliation removes from within our hearts the worldly point of view. We are new creations in Christ- together.
His healing work made us family.
“14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come:[a]The old has gone, the new is here!18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b]for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)
Taking Back the Word Family and Healing the Wounded
I’ll repeat it: Family has nothing to do with organized ministry!
In my life, the word family represents strength and unmovable relationship. I have parents that stayed together through the worst and best of times. Conflict and confrontation were not pretty, but with understanding and forgiveness, it made the family stronger.
Spiritual bonds in Christ should supersede natural relationships.
It profoundly pains my soul how those who once enjoyed being a family in a church or ministry walk away bitter as the seasons or circumstances change. My parents didn’t break up when their business or jobs changed. They didn’t disown me or get offended when I grew up, moved out, got married, and started a family of my own.
They celebrated these changes as milestones.
My father didn’t set speaking limitations on me because I am a girl. He didn’t sit me in a different part of the home because my hair and skin were lighter than my brother’s. That would be absurd. But some experienced natural family as abusive and painful. ( I am so sorry this breaks my heart… Keep reading)
My sister and I discussed how the word family might not be as healing as we intended it. Therefore, we need a reformation!
True Family Sees No Color or Gender
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
Racism or sexism is not the issue sin is!
Many people’s natural association with mother, fathers, siblings, and such, seasoned with brokenness, is more of a wound than healing balm. We must see the healing that is desperately needed. We must resist the desire to cut one another off or become superficial because of differences. Jesus was drastically different from his disciples, yet he laid down His deity and life to identify with the weakness of man.
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” Philippians 2:7
Ministry or Similarities are Not the Ties that Bind- Jesus Is
There is nothing wrong with drawing close to people that you ‘”click” with especially when you are hungry to grow closer to the Lord. I love hanging with people who are fiery, love truth, and love to pray! I want everyone to be on fire and I love begin around people who are on fire.
I say all the time:
“I don’t want people to just come watch me burn I want people to burn with me.”
But, I keep people around me that are very different from me purposely. Not to be religiously correct, but I long to increase my ability to see like Jesus sees and love as He loves. Being around people from different backgrounds opens our eyes to the many facets of the beauty of God!
Breaking the Ministry Family Association
- If you have been hurt by the ministry or church and have disassociated yourself. Allow the Lord to heal that place of brokenness. You need the Body of Christ as crazy as it might be!
- If you are a ministry leader and have cut people off or formed biases because they are not the same as you and your denomination, race, nationality, or gender, repent. Seek the heart of God!
- If we are going to see true revival, we must get this right in the church culture first.
- If you are trying to get it right but have been misunderstood, you are in good company. Jesus was misunderstood too! Keep pressing into His heart.
The ministry we lead is ever-changing, but the message or Messenger never does. We must learn to minister to God before we minister to man. We must get His heart. When we are lead by the Spirit of God, we must yield to His voice moment to moment. We must stay tender before Him and allow Him to search and tenderize our hearts.
Anyone noted for their faith within the pages of the Scriptures radically obeyed, and their acts benefited others more than themselves. We must always be willing to work with our hands open. Real family in Christ is not rooted in commonality, ministry organizations or church memberships, but the bond of Christ.
I cry out for the broken today. Will you cry out with me and allow the Lord to search your heart and heal it? Will you forgive those who hurt you? You are not family because you are the same as someone else, not because you are a member of the same church or network but because of Jesus you are a child of God. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Can we contend for a movement of family and repent of our discord in the body of Christ! It’s time for an awakening!
Matthew 5: 23-24
Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar.First go and be reconciled to your brother ;then come and offer your gift.