Watch Full Show! Listen!We find out that Kirk Cameron, of the television show, Growing Pains, and Phil Robertson, of the television show, Duck Dynasty and Unashamed, are family, though they are from two different areas of the nation, they both deeply love the Lord as members of God’s family. Cameron comes from the West Coast, and Los Angeles Hollywood from an upbringing of show business, and now is burning as bright as he can by doing all that he can to share the Gospel to the nations through media. In the same way, Robertson has also lived a life that has impacted many and you may have seen him and his family on the show ‘Duck Dynasty,’ running a family business of making duck calls for businesses worldwide. Robertson sees the place where our nation is and how the Gospel has been presented is not working. Some would think “show business” is what they have in common, but we find out it goes way deeper than that as they look deeply into the struggle in America with today’s church.
Cameron and Robertson recently came together to talk about this important dilemma. As Robertson shares, there must be a way that the world hears and learns about the love of Jesus. “You have to show them through the way you behave. God’s people are the ones who are showing the world what Jesus is like. And if we don’t do it, Cameron, where else is it gonna come from? If God’s people are not gonna show the world around us Jesus, who’s going to do it?” This is such an important truth to recognize. This is very important and needs to be addressed. Robertson shares how the model of what this present generation has labeled as “church” is not an effective way to demonstrate the love of Jesus “And it’s hard to show them that two hours Sunday morning inside a church building. You’re not where they are. If whatever time the church doors are open, if I give you four hours out of 168 in a week. And you’re like, what are you doing the other 164 hours?” Robertson says.
“Where you work is where you can point them to Jesus. Where you work, where you play, that’s where you show them.” It’s like we’ve put God into a box, or as Robertson puts it, “We now have God confined to structures with tall steeples in front of them. [I guess you could call that a Church Dynasty?]They’re all in rows. And you really don’t even really know that person right down there.Phil gestures, as if he is looking down a long church pew at its other end. “Hey how ya doing?” “Pretty good.” One time a week. It’s not enough. Not enough.”
This is such a powerful moment to recognize as Cameron and Robertson are eating together, having relationship, talking about Jesus. This is the very way, as Robertson explains, this will be accomplished. “You’ve got to have family structures meeting together in their homes, where they eat. Like this… we’re interacting here… we have to do more of that.”You see, Phil took Kirk fishing, showed him how to clean the fish. They cooked it together and as they enjoyed the meal together, they had this meaningful conversation. That is what Phil was talking about, exactly what they did together. That is how the church should be the church; it’s family.
FAMILY IS A GOD IDEA
It is so important to recognize that as these men are talking about family, family is not a new idea. Family is not an American, or ‘Western Culture’ idea. Family is God’s idea. God is the one who has designed family. Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus these very words in Ephesians 4:11-16
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Could it be the world is so confused about family because the church is not walking out family? “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, BEING UNDERSTOOD FROM WHAT HAS BEEN MADE, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 God made the family and calls His church His family. Maybe the world can figure out family when the church has returned to what God says family is?
TRAINING ME UP
These are such amazing words! This is the Spirit of the Lord speaking through the words of Paul. Many people have gotten wrapped up into thinking their Pastor hasn’t done things right, when all the time those complaining are more than likely the very ones that the Pastor is trying to lead and speak truth to, because God has a call and a purpose for each of us and they are training us up to do the ministry. Many people think their pastor is supposed to serve them and do the work of ministry, but, as Paul writes, their job is to train us up to do the work. Instead of learning, growing, and acting on what we learn, many get frustrated with the pastors and run them off, or go find another, while never entering into ministry themselves. It’s an American church culture that needs to be shifted back to what God’s word clearly tells us and what Paul just wrote. Family doesn’t leave family, we grow, mature, get trained up and spread the family; expand it from generation to generation.
We cannot do this by ourselves, on our own. Just like children need someone to help teach them, guide them, help them tie their shoes, help them with their homework, so it is the same in the spiritual sense. We need someone to disciple us, to raise us up when we are first born again. What child is mature? None of them. That is why God created parents to raise children until they reach maturity. We all have a purpose and a calling to be raised up into. The five fold ministry, of which the pastor is one, was given to the church for that very purpose.
NEW BORNS NEED TO BE RAISED
It’s interesting that if you’ve ever visited the beautiful sight of the ocean and the continually crashing waves upon the shoreline, often time you will see children playing on the shore. If you look closely, you will notice that children will rarely ever go deeper than they’re able to have solid footing in the sand. If they do decide to wander into the depths of the waves, they can quickly be swept away. Is this what is happening in this present culture? Never before have we been exposed to so many prophetic words, teachings, messages, at our fingertips. If we’re not careful, we can be ‘blown here and there,’ like Paul is talking about. We must have those in our lives that guide us, that teach us, and direct us to solid ‘footing,’ solid teachings of Christ.
EVERY PART MATTERS
This is God’s design to be walked out and learned within the context of family. It is interesting how the Church is described with these words, ‘Body of Christ.’ Look at our natural bodies. We all have joints that connect one part of our body to the other. How important are your legs for walking? If our legs are important, how important are our joints? Imagine taking out someone’s knee, or their hip. How long would they walk? Not very long. Just like every joint is important to the functioning of the natural body, so every believer and church family being healthy and functioning in their role is vital to the health of the Body of Christ, the spiritual family. No one part of the body is more important than the other.
HEALTHY FAMILIES COME IN DIFFERENT SIZES
Jesus plainly said in Matthew 18:20 that, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Some have understood that a gathering must be a large gathering, and the larger the gathering the greater the impact. It’s actually quite the opposite effect. When you look at some of the largest Church gatherings in America, the local communities around them have the worst social statistics according to Kris Vallotton, except for four or five cities he found in his study. The larger the gathering, the less likely it is that people will recognize the individual responsibility to carry out what Jesus has called them to do. At the end of our lives, we will stand before the Lord and the lives we lived will testify about us, and we will have to give an account to Jesus for that life we lived.
HONOR JESUS’ BRIDE
Regardless of what “part” we may be in the Church, there are other parts of the body, that may be different, but that doesn’t make them any less important. It’s all the Church, each part has equal value. Truth be told, the Church is the “Bride of Christ.” Can you imagine how a man would respond if someone came up and instantly started criticizing his wife? It wouldn’t go well. How do you think the heart of Jesus is being affected if we criticize the Church? We can’t do that, yet there are some people that live their lives specializing in being fault finders of Jesus’ Bride. It’s not our job to discourage the Church, but to lift her up and encourage her. What better way than to relate and live in the fullness of God’s family expectations for His Church. It’s there each has the opportunity to be mutually encouraged.
IF IT DOESN’T WORK IN A CAVE, IT WON’T WORK IN A BUILDING
What is important to understand and begin to ponder, is that we must break the mindset that in order to walk out what Jesus expects of us as His Church, it requires a multi-million-dollar PA system, and building. Greg and Pat speak about their time in Israel and how much smaller things are there and how the places we read about in the Bible were so much smaller. For anybody that has traveled to Israel, you see that everything is small compared to what is described as “normal” in America. If what you do doesn’t work in a cave, or in a coffee shop, then it simply will not work. But, if it does work in a cave or in a coffee shop, or in a living room, it will work in a large building. You may ask why I say “cave.” Well, in some of the first centuries of the church, much was spent under great persecution, they had to secretly meet in caves. Guess what, IT WORKED! Because they lived and thrived in persecution, having to meet in caves, we, the church, are here today.
It’s just so special when the Church comes together as family, breaking bread with one another, and spending time together. Instead of a “meeting” I like to call it “mEATing” because we always eat when we meet just like Jesus did. He did it so much, some people wrongly accused Him of being a glutton. Why? Because He ate with those who were His. It’s interesting how much we’re able to learn about people when we eat together. How special a moment is when someone invites you into their home, into their kitchen, and cooks for you. Presently, in many homes in America, people live individualistically. They live separately. They eat separately. They live isolated lives though they are in the same family and same house. If you want to strengthen your family, begin to eat together and pray together.
This is how the Lord wants his Church to gather and walk out life together. When we say family, we’re not necessarily talking about natural family, but spiritual family. Jesus said very specifically to make the distinct difference between biological family and natural family when someone interrupted Jesus teaching as Matthew 12:47 states, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” Verses 48-50 reveal Jesus’ clear response, He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”We, who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord are true Blood Family, related through the Blood of Jesus.This doesn’t separate your natural biological family from you, it shows how they are presently not a part of the family of God, if they have not yet accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but also how they can join the family of God. How they can join the Blood Family!
Even if you have a Christian family, if you weren’t trained up to be family, your understanding of “being family” can still be dysfunctional. To assume the revelation on how “to be a family” drops supernaturally out of the sky because you decide to have a family is ridiculous, yet most people live and decide to have family based on this assumption. Like in all things, we need to “learn” how to be family. It takes a humble man, a humble woman to admit that, but it’s a lot less humbling than that same man and woman going through divorce and their family being ripped apart. We need to see how family is supposed to be through the lens of God’s Word and leadership of His family. It is only by God’s hand and grace that family is held together and God’s Word, scripture, that tells us how God intended family to be.