An attempt to explain ‘church’, for those who have never been.
In Perth, most people have never gone to church and most people don’t really know what it involves. So we would like to try and demystify it a little, by comparing it to a big family. Comparing the church to a family is an analogy that has been used for centuries and is usually very helpful. We call God our Father and we like to refer to other Christians as brothers and sisters. We have a similar connection, bond and responsibility to each other, as many would have with their own blood family. Church is not a building, but the people.
You could almost think of it as a collective noun for Christians; like a herd of elephants, a gaggle of geese, a swarm of bees and a mob of emus. It’s a church of Christians!
The following paragraphs explain some of the similarities between how families function and how the church functions.
Families gather together, and busier and bigger families may have to schedule these times. Like any healthy family, we prioritize time together. At Kingscross Church, we usually gather on Sunday mornings as a big group and once during the week in smaller groups (so we can get to know people better and not get lost in the crowd).
Families are best when everyone pitches in and helps out, and it is similar in church too. It can be practical help, such as setting up equipment for our Sunday meetings or cooking a meal for someone who has recently had a baby. But it can be spiritual help too, such as praying for someone. We believe God has given everyone special skills and abilities, also known as ‘gifts’, to help the people around them.
Healthy families grow. This can be growth in age/maturity of the members or additions of new members, like through marriage or births. Every new person brings a change to the dynamic of the home. In the same way the church is always changing with new Christians being added. Every new addition is unique and valuable. As they themselves mature they begin growing the family too. They do this through sharing with others how to become a Christian and what Jesus has done for them.
When the church gets together we often have a special meal called communion. It is a special way to remember what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross. We have bread, as a symbol of Jesus’ body that was damaged when he hung on the cross. And we have a red drink (sometimes wine, but usually juice) to symbolize the blood he lost as he died. While it might sound a bit gruesome, it celebrates that he chose to receive our punishment and to die for our wrongdoings, so that we could receive his life, and can now live forever in relationship with God.
Families Are Led
We believe a successful family has clear leadership. The leader takes responsibility for the welfare of the family and seeks to do what is best for them. Jesus is the ultimate leader of the church, and he has also additional leaders under him to help take care of his people. In the church those helpers are called ‘elders’ and ‘deacons’. The elders are primarily responsible for the overall running of the church, while the deacons assist with specific tasks, such as looking after the finances.
Families Have Values
Every healthy family has a set of values that unify them, guide decisions, and helps to create a positive environment.
At Kingscross, we also have values that are important to us:
Love: To love our Father God, one another, and the world.
Generosity: To be generous with our time, possessions and skills.
Unity: To seek and keep unity.
Holiness: To grow towards holiness; promoting that which is good.
Celebration: To celebrate life and one another.
Authenticity: To be real about our struggles and Gods victories.