Dear Woodside… We’re Family!

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Romans 8:14–15, ESV)

In our culture today the church has been moved from the center to the fringes of life. We’ve placed a higher emphasis on biological family, work, social communities and the like so much that the church has become just an event that we attend once a week. It’s like watching a sports game that starts, you cheer, and it ends, and you go home. There is nothing to connect with beyond the event itself.

Yet, the Bible never envisions the church in this way. The gathering of the people of God isn’t just an event we attend, receive some spiritual insights, and go home. The church is constantly spoken of as a family, a body, a household.

Paul in Romans 8 anchors the reality of our justification before God with the identity we have as children of God. Having been gifted the Holy Spirit at our conversion we now reidentified as family — children! We have the full rights and promises of true children because Jesus has died in our place to adopt us into his family. Not only does that mean we are children of God, but we belong to one another. We spiritual siblings in Christ.

Really, the challenge for us isn’t so much about who we are as family. The challenge is are we living, and acting as family together? The question really becomes are we living towards one another as family? Do we just see each other across the room once a week (or less) and say “that’s enough?” Are we investing in each other’s lives? Are we with one another during the week? Are we bearing one another’s burdens? Are we serving, forgiving, loving, encouraging, confessing to, praying for, showing hospitality, and so on to one another?

I want to encourage you not to allow yourself to just be a person who attends a church. I want you grow in the identity God has given you as a member of his family and to enact and live out that identity within the church family. Connect with a Missional Community (or “family on mission”) as we like to call them. Invest yourself in the lives of others in the church. Let those far from God know you are Jesus’ disciple by seeing your love for other brothers and sisters in the faith. Let’s continue to grow as a family on mission together and see God glorified, and the gospel advanced!

We are family. Let’s live like the most compassionate and best of families.

Gathering Sunday

Sunday is a great time to be together as family as well so you don’t want to miss our gatherings for worship this weekend. As we hear from God’s Word this weekend we will be in Jeremiah 38:1-13 seeking another Kadima movement of growth from mere competency to compassion. Together we will sing the following songs which you can find on our Spotify playlist to listen to before Sunday morning. Here’s what we are singing:

  • Only King Forever
  • Jesus I Come
  • Good Good Father
  • Presence
  • Jesus Paid It All

I look forward to gathering with you on Sunday and want to encourage you to invite and invest in others who are not yet part of God’s family so that they too will know the joy and grace of God. Let’s keep pushing forward on mission together. If there is anyway we can serve and pray for you this week, please let us know!

Kadima!

Jeremy