A while back I wrote a piece called “My Manifesto,” in which I outlined 10 life-guiding principles I want to see lived out in my life:
- We will seek God as Sovereign Lover and Source of All (James 1:17).
- We will seek Family as God’s Government (Romans 12:1-7).
- We will seek Growth in all areas of our lives (1 Corinthians 3:7).
- We will seek sustained encounters that span generations (Exodus 33:11).we will seek the Kingdom that is everywhere (Romans 14:17).
- We will clarify vision until communicated (Habakkuk 2:2).
- We will position passion until unity (Philippians 3:1).
- we will augment anointing until breakthrough (Exodus 31:1-5).
- We will scale back until excellence (John 15:2)
- We will live from the fullness of the book of Ephesians (Ephesians 1:10, 2:10, 3:10, 4:10, 5:10, 6:10).
- We will seek a personal manifesto.
I wrote these as “we” statements, because I feel it’s important to live out my life within the context of the greater community of which I am a part. I designed each of them to be something I must embody if I’m going to make a difference the kingdom. More specifically, I wrote this about “family.”
We will seek Family as God’s Government (Romans 12:1-7). We won’t create policies and structures as organizational scar tissue. Instead, we will focus on restoration of family. The purpose of government is the creation of a society, community, family that embodies a vision for a better future together. We protect freedom and invite people to live in righteousness. We believe the best in people and because of our fanatic discipline in the area of staff acquisition and development, we will give people huge amounts of freedom. We won’t waste time in discussions about things that aren’t mission-critical. We will speak the truth in love and build something great on the foundation of what God outlined in Scripture. We restructure now.
I’m taking this out and commenting on it now, because I believe now more than ever that we need a Jesus-centered model for family. The church I’m a part of has been using a description that really resonates with me:
“The Alliance is a Christ-Centered Acts 1:8 family.”
Because of Jesus, we have a clear mission. Because of the Spirit we have clear power. Because of the Father, we belong to a clear family that transcends simply a husband, a wife and 2.4 kids. The question we ask ourselves is this: why? Why did Jesus organize his life and ministry this way? Why have some of the most successful church planting movements of all time been built of smaller units of people. The answer: He’s a Father in the reconciliation business (Malachi 4:6).
So what is “family,” though? I’m reading through Breen’s text, called Family on Mission. He notes that we can build a basis for an extended family or “oikos” model based on God’s character, creation, the life of Jesus and even modern-cultural artifacts like the TV show, Friends. Becoming family means going through a process of transitioning from being merely friends, to positioning ourselves as followers and finally ending as family members that lay down our lives completely for the greater mission. In fact, and these are my points, I see government as administrative bodies designed for the purposes of steering the ship and building the house (biblical metaphors). I highly suggest reading this book for a better understanding of how family can exist in form and function.
There’s a strength that comes in the simplicity of family. There’s a safety that comes in the structure of family. I believe this can be a breathe of fresh air to a world that’s complicated and insecure. If we are going to affect long-term, systemic change, we must do it as Family. On Mission. We must align ourselves with God’s character, creation and credible plan for world restoration.