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Loving God, Loving Others and Leading Others to do the Same

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Home » Everyone needs a church Family, a Tribe.

Everyone needs a church Family, a Tribe.

Finding your place, love, purpose and hope in the family of God


God’s longing for a family was so profound that He sacrificed His Son to fulfill it.
How then can we not honor Him by joining His family as an active,
joyful, and loving participant in the church family He has called us to?

       A person needs a church family. “We are told in I John 1:7 that if we “walk in the light as He is in the light,” we will have koinonia somewhere. Koinonia (/ˌkɔɪnoʊˈniːə/) is a transliterated form of the Greek word κοινωνία, which refers to fellowship, joint participation, partnership, the share which one has in anything, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution. In the church it identifies the idealized state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the church, the Body of Christ.  Our family, our tribe, where we have koinonia, could be in a large church, or with just one or two other believers, but we should be growing in a deep and vital relationship with God’s people somewhere.

The Lord has called you to become part of a special place, a community, a church family.

“You are to seek “THE PLACE” the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes [church families] to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; THERE bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.”  (Deuteronomy 12:5-11 NIV)

As a person grows from infancy, they begin to understand how the different parts of their body function and become more skilled at using them. So should a church body. Just as a hand is joined to the wrist and arm, we too will start to become more strongly linked to other believers. Because we are a family, we may grow close to people with different functions than ours, the way we would in a family. The metaphors of how we are a body, a temple, a field, a priesthood, an army, or a city on a hill all help remind us to develop as we should. These metaphors may not be perfect fits for modern life, nor are they meant to be. We’re not called to “fit” in the modern life on the contrary we are told specifically, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  (Romans 12:2)

Likewise, there may be times when the Lord’s focus for us can change. He may for a time emphasize being the bride of Christ so we grow in worship and love for the Lord. Then, later, He may emphasize developing as an army for missions, or some other aspect of our calling. This is why it is crucial for us to be connected as we should in the body, but our connection to the Head is the most vital. Every part of our physical body gets its commands directly from the Head, though these can come through the other members. We must all know the Lord’s voice and follow Him.

Many people do not realize the necessity of belonging to a church family. They read scripture and strive alone trying to embody the entirety of what God has called them to be. However, what they often fail to understand is that we can only fulfill our roles within the context of a church family, the body of Christ. This is because we are merely ‘a part’ of His body. It is essential to recognize, relate, and to be tightly integrated with the other parts of the Body of Christ, our church family, with “others”.


“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully…Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. From Christ the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  (Romans 12:4-8, 10, Ephesians 4:16)

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

You are a part of the Body of Christ, and the Lord has a specific place for you within His Body—a church family, a tribe where He intends to place you. It is up to you to let Him guide you to ‘the place,’ to ‘that tribe,’ the church family He has called you to join for ‘God places the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…’ (1 Corinthians 12:18) and He has a place for you!

We need each other to be whole as God intends for us to be,
but that happens when we join our church family.

         “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”  (1 Corinthians 12:12-27 NIV)

         As we mature in our church body relationships, all of this will make more sense. We must keep in mind that these metaphors are meant to give us a general understanding of how we are to grow together, and we must not become so rigid they hinder our real and vital relationships with the Lord and His people. If we follow the Lamb, we will become all we are called to be in an edifying, practical way.

One Another’s

In the New Testament, “One Another” commands are given for us as followers of Christ to adhere to. These commands appear 100 times across 47 verses, each providing instructions for Jesus’ followers. Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, authored 60% of these “One Another” commands.

The “One Another’s” have to do with unity, love, humility, and other areas:


One third of the one-another commands deal with the unity of the church.

  • Be at peace with one another (Mk 9:50)
  • Don’t grumble among one another (Jn 6:43)
  • Be of the same mind with one another (Ro 12:16, 15:5)
  • Accept one another (Ro 15:7)
  • Wait for one another before beginning the communion (1 Co 11:33)
  • Don’t bite, devour, and consume one another— (Ga 5:15)
  • Don’t boastfully challenge or envy one another (Ga 5:26).
  • Gently, patiently tolerate one another (Ep 4:2)
  • Be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving to one another (Ep 4:32)
  • Bear with and forgive one another (Co 3:13)
  • Seek good for one another, and don’t repay evil for evil (1 Th 5:15)
  • Don’t complain against one another (Jas 4:11, 5:9)
  • Confess sins to one another (Jas 5:16)


One third of them instruct Christians to love one another.

  • Love one another (Jn 13:34, 15:12, 17; Ro 13:8; 1 Th 3:12, 4:9; 1 Pe 1:22; 1 Jn 3:11, 4:7, 11; 2 Jn 5)
  • Through love, serve one another (Ga 5:13)
  • Tolerate one another in love (Ep 4:2)
  • Greet one another with a kiss of love (1 Pe 5:14)
  • Be devoted to one another in love (Ro 12:10)


About 15% stress an attitude of humility and deference among believers.

  •  Give preference to one another in honor (Ro 12:10)
  • Regard one another as more important than yourselves (Php 2:3)
  • Serve one another (Ga 5:13)
  • Wash one another’s feet (Jn 13:14)
  • Don’t be haughty: be of the same mind (Ro 12:16)
  • Be subject to one another (Ep 5:21)
  • Clothe yourselves in humility toward one another (1 Pe 5:5)

Here’s the rest:

  • Do not judge one another, and don’t put a stumbling block in a brother’s way (Ro 14:13)
  • Greet one another with a kiss (Ro 16:16; 1 Co 16:20; 2 Co 13:12)
  • Husbands and wives: don’t deprive one another of physical intimacy (1 Co 7:5)
  • Bear one another’s burdens (Ga 6:2)
  • Speak truth to one another (Ep 4:25)
  • Don’t lie to one another (Co 3:9)
  • Comfort one another concerning the resurrection (1 Th 4:18)
  • Encourage and build up one another (1 Th 5:11)
  • Stimulate one another to love and good deeds (He 10:24)
  • Pray for one another (Jas 5:16)
  • Be hospitable to one another (1 Pe 4:9)

A common feature of all 100 “One Another” commands is that more than one person is involved in every instance.

If you find yourself alone, attempting to fulfill these “One Another” commands by yourself, you will find it impossible and need to reconsider joining the church family God has called you to. These commands are designed for interaction with another person, not a solitary engagement.  If you believe you are fulfilling them alone, it might be time to seek discipleship and/or deliverance as the “One Another’s” have to do with another person, not another spirit.

One clear message from these “God-breathed” “One Another” commands is that God expects and has called you to be in relationship with other believers, within a church family.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  (Proverbs 27:17)

The body of Christ is made up of people, and we should expect all relationships to be challenging at times.  It is in these challenges, which can only take place in relationships, where our love is tested, and our faith is challenged, where we at time may suffer, yet “we glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  (Romans 5:3-5)

Many are hopeless in their lives because they failed to join, or did not know they were called to join, the church family the Lord has called them to.

Others are hopeless because they did not understand that suffering at times goes hand in hand with relationship so upon being hurt, they abandoned their church family the Lord has called them where He planned to give them non disappointing hope.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:17)

We are called not only to endure suffering but also to experience this suffering within the supportive environment of the church family God has designated for us. If we hold fast to our relationships within the body of Christ when they are being challenged, they can become even deeper, richer, and more fruitful.  It is here, in family, as we remain faithful to loving God and each other, that we discover the hope we have longed for all our lives.

Finally, just as in a natural family, you may not all live in the same house, city, or nation, you are still a family. Whether communicating through a call, letter, an email, a message, a chat, or being physically together, you are always united in heart. You never question your familial bond. It would be considered absurd to believe that geographical distance between a father and his son or daughter, or a brother and his sister, would cause them to cease being a family?  This principle applies to the Lord’s family He has called you to join. Indeed, we cherish gathering physically and pray for more opportunities to do so. However, our membership in the family doesn’t cease due to various reasons like being on a mission field, relocating to a different city, or moving to another country. In fact, it is during these times that we need our church family even more. Despite geographic distances, it’s crucial to be intentional about maintaining a healthy connection with your church family. As I’ve discussed in this article, the rewards of being an active, caring, and loving member of your church family—persevering through challenging times—not only bring immense joy and meaning to your life and joy to Jesus but also pleasure to our Father God.

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