Gangs, the Church … and Family

Francis Chan tells the story of something that happened in his previous church – a congregation of more than 5000 people in southern California. One morning he baptized a young man. The guy had been a gang member but came into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. He got involved in the congregation, but later ended up leaving the church. And when someone asked him why he left, he responded, “I didn’t understand church. When I was baptized, I thought that was going to be like being jumped into the gang where it’s like 24/7 they’re my family. I didn’t know it was just somewhere where we just attend on Sundays.”

Chan seemed close to tears as he continued, “That makes me so sick that the gangs are a better picture of family than the Church of Jesus Christ.”

What a sad story. But he’s right. If we really saw ourselves as family – not just a place to go on Sunday mornings, but actually family – it would change how we live and interact with one another.

Think about how frequently the New Testament refers to Christian believers as “brothers.” Jesus said we should call God “Father.” Galatians 6:10 says that we are the “family of believers.”

We are family. Not just a collection of folks who get together occasionally, but true family.

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