Church, Musings

A lesson on the church as family

The church we had the opportunity to serve and serve with in the Dominican Republic just experienced a lose. A young man (early 30s) who was a part of the leadership team of the church passed away on Sunday.

He became suddenly ill the second day we were in the DR. After several days of inconclusive tests he was moved to the capital for more tests. It took 2 more weeks before a diagnosis. A tumor in his lungs–cancer. After it was determined the cancer had spread and there was nothing that could be done medically, he was released. He passed into the presence of the Lord less than two days later.

The young man didn’t have much family (he was engaged to be married) but the church was his family.

They were with him throughout the time in hospital–each day several would make the hour long trip to spend time with him. He didn’t have insurance–the church (though not having much) took his expenses as their expenses. When he was home, the church family was beside him the whole time, feeding, caring, singing and praying.

That is a great example of what the church should be–not an organization but a family. A caring community of people dedicated to the Lord and committed to each other.

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

4 Comments on “A lesson on the church as family

  1. We seem to have little or no problem taking responsibility and caring for our blood relative family. Why do you think we have greater difficulty doing the same for spiritual family?

  2. Good question.

    It seems that those who are “connected” are care for fairly well. But not necessarily like family.

    So it seems to always come back to–how to get people truly connected and how to step into the lives of others.

  3. Well then…we’ve tried teaching and teaching and teaching on this with limited success with no widespread adoption.

    So, what do we do? What works? Is there anything that works? Or have we cloistered so pervasively that we can’t see beyond the fenceposts of our pods?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way to expand the family?

  4. Priorities

    Do we see relationships as a priority?
    Can we clearly explain the purpose?
    Are we passionate about people?

    If we answer “no” to any of these questions–we have a major problem.

    If we answer “yes” and still find ourselves in the place we are, then we need to ask the questions again.

    If we say “yes” the next question is–what are we willing to change? When are we willing to change it? Where do we start?

    This is where we seem to get bogged down (maybe we do have Bog Turtles).

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