What Is A Faith Family?
Faith Families are the place to live out your faith with a small group of both believers and (sometimes) non-believers throughout the week. It is a place to experience more intimate friendship, to study the Bible, and prayerfully put it into practice, and to live out a life of love to our community.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God and is authoritative to our everyday life. If we truly intend to live with the Bible as an authority in our life, we need to read it a lot and often.
Faith Families read and study the Bible and discuss how they might put it into practice. They encourage their members to read the Bible daily and discuss what they have discovered from their readings. They also discuss how they are putting what they have learned into practice in practical ways in every part of life including family and work.
Faith Families are in prayer both together and apart throughout the week. They prayerfully reflect on who God is. They praise and thank Him for what He has done and is doing. They prayerfully confess and repent of sin. And they offer petitions and requests to God.
It is often easy to make prayer an after thought in Faith Families, but this should not be the case. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we use as Christians. A Faith Family that humbly prays will be amazed at the ways God’s presence and power is carried out in their lives and community.
Breaking of Bread, Confession, and Repentance
Christ is the Head of the house church. We break bread, also known as communion or the Lord’s Supper, at Faith Families to remember Jesus and what he has done for us. We also ask our Faith Families to regularly examine themselves in light of Jesus and his gospel. A person that understands who Jesus is and what He has done will be convicted of sin in their own life. The purpose in this must always be reconciliation, not conformity. Reconciliation is the gospel. Conformity is religion. Therefore, the goal of the Faith Family in this area should be to point to Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection as the only remedy for sin and look to the Holy Spirit for the ability to walk in righteousness.
From the earliest stages of Christ’s ministry he called individuals into engaging in ministry in groups. From the 12 disciples to sending out disciples in two all the way to Paul’s missionary journeys, we see men and women joining together to obey and follow Christ.
At Grace, we find enormous value in small groups of people throughout our church teaming up into small communities or house churches to follow Christ together. We encourage these groups to practice hospitality (1 Peter 4:8-9) both for each other and also for those that are in the community at large (Heb 13:1-2).
One of the hallmarks of the early Christian church was it’s unselfish love for the whole community around it. May we strive to love our community in the same way.
The house church is not a holding tank for self righteous, hypicritcal Christians. It is meant to be a city on a hill, a light that can’t be hidden. A house church must think not only about building up it’s members in love, but it must caring about the local community it’s in. One of the best way to show the light of Jesus to our community is to be humbly helping where they feel pain and need help. Perhaps this is by quietly serving, humbling listening , or even attending the parties of our neighbors like Jesus did.