We are so grateful for our church family. We don't have any family within a 12 hour drive. This is a good thing because it means that we have to depend on our church family. There is very little talk of how beneficial such dependence is to the ministry, but I have found it extremely helpful for the church to know that you need them. A lot of times, it seems like pastors try to make the church aware of how badly they need him, but in missionary training we were told about the importance of being vulnerable to those whom you serve. It was such a helpful insight to our domestic ministry!
I'm not sure why we expect our church families to be perfect even though we would never expect such from our biological families, but it may be due to the fact that we can choose our church family. That freedom of choice has led to a consumeristic attitude toward church. We can pick and choose, so we should look for a church that makes us happy. When the leadership (or follow-ship) does something we don't like, we hold them hostage by threatening to leave. I don't see that anywhere in the book of Acts!
I have found such joy in knowing and leaning on our church family. It's not that I have faith in people as much as I have faith that God uses His people to provide. I know that they'll fail. I know that I'll fail, but by God's grace, I pray that in those moments of weakness, the Holy Spirit will intervene and provide more than enough for a supernatural forgiveness. Grace is perfected in weakness, a truth we are more than happy to look to in our own weakness, but waver in our application toward the weaknesses of others.
I want relationships defined by the strength of God and His love, not by my own limitations or the limitations of others. It's a scary thing to rely on God by relying on others, but the value is indescribable. Let's leave some room for the Holy Spirit to work and embrace the slightly illogical joy of dependency. I'm not talking about co-dependency, just a healthy understanding of biblical relationships and God's desire to use them to grow us toward Him.
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." (1Peter 4:8 ESV)
8 hours ago