When you use the word ‘family’, what do you mean?
The majority of people would use the word to describe their blood relatives first and foremost. You go home to your ‘family’ for Christmas, and you have a ‘family’ home you go back to. The word is also used to describe the family you have created for yourself; your spouse and your children.
Of course, this is a definition that is wonderful. Family is one of the most important things in the world. The word alone implies love, understanding and the sharing of all the good and the bad that the world might throw at us. It’s the people we share our lives and our faith with; hopefully becoming the family, we choose as well as the family we have through birth.
It is a concept that is worth extending, however – and we’ve already touched on the reason why. For most of us, our experience of our faith is a unifying experience. It brings us together with a congregation, many of whom we would not have met through any other walk of life. If we extend the definition of family out to include those that we worship with, then we can find an entirely new definition of the word.
If you are a more introverted person, the idea of opening yourself up to the notion may seem challenging. It is worth remembering that the people you worship with are already your family; you just haven’t acknowledged it yet. From the observant to the devout, you have something strong in common with them – something which transcends the normal bonds between people who are not related to one another.
If your congregation is not currently close with one another outside of religious services, then it has to come down to someone to make the change. Why not let it be you?
There are many ways to bond a group of worshipers together. The best way to begin is to focus on the area you have in common; your following of the Lord. From there, you can expand and include activities that don’t just involve the usual services. You can become more social with one another, take day trips to significant religious sites and eventually expand to a Christian retreat center and other such activities to encourage the strength of the bond you have together. Not only will this strengthen your earthly ties, but give you a stronger sense of community and spirit – something you will all ultimately be able to benefit from.