As this week draws to a close, we are in Ft Rucker, AL preparing to celebrate mine and Kim’s grandson’s first birthday. The thrill that John Patton has brought into our lives is unexplainable. During celebrations like this one, I am always reminded that God designed each of us to belong to various groups in our life. For me personally, my family is the most basic and most important group in my life. I often remind people of the fact that the family is the first institution that God designed when he created this world in which we live. Family is more important than any corporate organization, sports teams and yes even the church. Even as a pastor, I believe if the church intrudes through earthly demands on the family and it’s time then the church needs to make the adjustment and not the family. Understand though that I am not saying the relationship of humans to other humans supersede our relationship to Christ. We should reserve our deepest love and commitment to Christ and then our family (spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, etc) and then things such as church, teams and corporate entities.
In this fast-paced world we live, we clutter our lives with business at the expense of our families. We as a culture are working more hours. Many employers, including the corporation that I’m employed by, seem to think the business comes before the family which is absolutely a terrible way to do business. Our athletic programs can over-run our schedules especially in families where parents want there kids to be involved in everything extracurricular to the point they never get any down which will inevitably bring about burn-out and maybe even resentment. Churches sometimes can even become guilty of intruding so much into our time with piling on program after program at the expense of families having time to be families. I am convinced more than ever from a pastoral point of view that the church would likely do itself a favor and strengthen it’s very foundation if it did a few things well that was less taxing on the family than trying to be a buffet of programs to the world.
In closing, just a few things to remember. First, even with everything I stated above concerning church, I do believe it is important to belong to a bible believing church and worship consistently. For some that is Sunday morning only (that’s ok by the way and will not endanger your eternal soul) and for others it is the normal Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday. Being part of something bigger than you is important. If you are lonely, there are great opportunities for you find a place to belong – God designed you to belong. If you have a great family that you are a part of then give God glory for the family is His grandest organizational creation.