The Family Is Civilization's Hope

The undeniably critical mission of the church is to transform people's lives and culture through the message of Christ. How do we see the world won to a relationship with Christ? Do we start in the marketplace? How about the office? Maybe you think that the school or the university is the place we transform peoples lives and ultimately our culture. How about the media and the World Wide Web phenomenon? Certainly the Internet and Social Media is the fastest way to reach society, right? Do we implement city-wide outreaches?  What about church evangelism and outreach programs?  
The Family May Be The Key To National Reformation
Let me offer a better option than all of these. The family. There are many reasons the family is the key to transforming cultures. History has proven that family is the central system of every culture and that reformation can best take place in an inter-generational setting. In the face of the recent Supreme Court decisions redefining the family, here are 10 ways the family could impact national revolution in the coming years:
  • The national (and global) focus upon the family right now gives it an advantage of awareness that can open opportunity for the family to receive resources from community and government
  • Our families are the best contextual way to speak the language of the communities they live in
  • Family is the one system that all of us come from. It is the genesis of formation.
  • The presence of the family is the one system that exists in each community in every sector of the community system. From neighborhood community programs, education and schools, corporate and business, entertainment and media, and religious and para-church organizations, the family is at the center of each of these systems.
  • When a family resides in a community they have immediate access because of the adaptation of that family into the neighborhood. It takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people.
  • Missiology is the study of intention and mission in a certain place. What better way to be missional than to use families to reach families?
  • Adults and Children build relationships and cross the multi-generational divide creating an inter-generational movement that is broad and sustaining over time.
  • It is easier and much cheaper to build children than to fix men. The impact upon the juvenile and court systems could be positive and long-lasting.
  • The only cost to this kind of evangelism is the the cost of building healthy biblical families through discipleship and coaching (the use of small groups, mentoring, teaching, and preaching is elementary to this build)
  • Early childhood development centered on the Bible has proven to improve educational performance. And this would transform communities on many levels. 
Sociology Flaunts Context

Most sociological systems report the successes of an incarnate or contextualized model of leadership. Presence-based is outcome-based. Because sin and separation from God is at the center of humankind, a gospel outreach is the only answer. Atonement cannot be found outside of the work of Christ. It is healthy Christian families who can bring the atoning transformation needed into the core of every culture and in the lives of every person. I'm sure that the young man in the Baltimore riots was stunned to see his mother show up on the streets and drag him home. This presence became a national phenomenon. And we could use more parents with this kind of passion for their family.

So, how do we build healthy Christian homes? What makes a family a liability and what makes a family a credibility? I believe that the presence of family in every community is the start. Being in setting is a distinct advantage. For many of the reasons above, we must see a strengthened family system in America. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to build healthy families:

Practical Advice For Shaping Families

Four areas of influence that can impact the success or the failure of our families in America:

1. When the spouse relationship is healthy, the family follows. Focus on the specific roles of husband and wife. And the rest of the family will see the communication and respect.
2. Children and sibling relationships must be an important development in every family. Teaching respect and honor among brothers and sisters can bring a huge impact to a neighborhood.
3. The family dinner and meals is a great place to begin spiritual formation. It may be the one setting where everyone gathers.
4. Family recreation and activities can take the pressure off of everyday life. Exercise and wellness can promote health and turn into family joy in the community.
5. When the family is involved in the community it gains influence. This vital relationship in athletic leagues, school volunteerism, or even neighborhood involvement creates trust and connectivity.
Jeff Grenell