Family Dynamics In Churches

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Thousand Hills, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    My wife and I both grew up in rural churches, where a majority of the congegrations were comprised of a handful of families who lived in the immediate community. While we both miss the opportunity to fellowship regularly with family, we do not miss the cliques and politics of these types of rural churches.

    We currently attend a church, that while it is not huge, there seems to be a diverse body of believers, with many families from different walks of life. It's nice to have people view us as a couple for who we are, not so and so's son or so and so's niece.

    So my question is, how important is it to you in choosing a church, that extended family should play a role. (If location wasn't a factor).

    (1) Would you go to church with your extended family even if you didn't agree completely with the church's doctrine, pastor, worship style, etc.

    (2) Or, All things being equal (doctrine, pastor, worship style, etc.) would you avoid going to church with extended family (even if you got along with the in-laws and outlaws) just for the potential problems that may occur.
     
  2. annsni

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    The first priority in going to church is to have a sound church. It doesn't matter if family is there or not. We will go where God leads us and honestly, it's never been to a church where family is. But if our family wishes to join our church, that's wonderful!
     
  3. freeatlast

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    I would prefer to attend a bible teaching bible obediant church but there just is not one in the area. The closest possible one is about 60 miles away. I currently drive 25 miles just to get to the one attend and it is the typical extended family church with poor bible teaching. As far as family churches that is about all there is in this area.
     
  4. Salty

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    I was just wondering...how much leeway you are willing to give a church. For example, must they use the KJV, have no CCM, women must wear dresses, pastor must believe in only 24 hour day creation, cannot be SBC or other affiliation, ect?

    Bottom line, why not start a church in your hometown?
     
  5. HAMel

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    Family owned and operated rural churches do more harm than good. Growth is stifled, outreach efforts are often not permitted, no new concepts are accepted, etc.

    A church in our area took up a collection in praise and recognition for the Choir Leader (family member) for his contribution and never once even thanked the Piano Player (non-family member) for her efforts.

    Family run churches just can't seem to grasp the big picture.
     
  6. mcdirector

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    We attended a church for a while that was full of extended family. Thank goodness there were a few welcoming souls, but for the most part we had a hard time getting involved and making friends. We are not by any means shy nor demure, but boy it was a ton of work. I think that was one of the reasons in the end that we visited elsewhere.
     
  7. drfuss

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    I was in a church of about 80 until I bacame a Christian where only two families in the church were not related to me. It was a very liberal Methodist church. My teenage cousin learned to play the organ and her father bought an organ for the church in the early 1950's.. Of course she was the one who played the organ. My cousin still plays the organ, although she has trouble getting to the organ on the platform since she now walks with a cane. I know about this since another cousin complains to me about it.

    Another aspect of church family is being in the preacher's family. My father-in-law and my brother were both pastors of different churches (at different times) which we could have attended. In both cases, we chose to go to another church since we did not want to be related to the pastor. We wanted to be just a part of the group and not related to the pastor.
     
  8. Salty

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    Was that a problem for your FIL or brother?
     
  9. drfuss

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    Not sure why it would or should be a problem. Why would it be a problem for them? Are you suggesting that their needs would be greater than ours?

    For my brother, we had already started in another church when he came to town. We helped him before he became the pastor, but did not want to be in the pastor's family.

    For my FIL, we had selected another church to start attending, but my job took me out of the area before it became an issue. It could have been a problem for him, but a bigger problem for us.
     
  10. Salty

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    Sometimes people get their feelings hurt very easily. We were members of a church, and felt it was time for us to leave - and it appears the pastor took it very personally. (pastor was not a relative)
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Wow, you guys have no idea how much of an encouragement this board is to me at times. I feel like you all know the struggles my family has been through with our local churches.

    Thousand Hills – I would not attend a church whose doctrine I had a major problem with simply because I had family there, but neither would I avoid a good church only because of family.

    Extended family rural churches are all we have in our area. I cannot be faithful to a church over an hour’s drive away. That is all we have, and our struggles have been devastating over the last six years. As Hamel has mentioned there is no growth or outreach, and no tolerance for new ideas or new members. My family and I have been locked out of participating in almost all ministries. My opportunities for ministry have been extremely limited. We have tried hard to follow the Lord and work from within to change these churches, but at this point my prayer is that God simply moves us before I have no family or spirit left.
     
  12. luke1616

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    Where one or two are gathered, I am there also. We are the church. Have church at your house. If you need to go to a church already in existence, let your light shine there no matter what there doctrine, pull down strongholds.
     
  13. Gina B

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    If I went to church and found extended family members there I'd have to check the weather app on my phone to find out what froze over and when.

    It seems most everyone in our church is somehow related. Until I found that out, I was a little leary of the lack of racial diversity as it didn't exactly reflect the community.

    But they're not like that at all. YAY!

    If I did have relatives who attended, I think that would be really neat but I wouldn't go out of my way for that. Too many potential problems. We recently looked at a rental house that seemed ideal for us and was right where we wanted it, SO perfect! We got all excited but then we thought about it and decided that since it was owned by a church leader whose friendship we value, we would not rent it.

    The co-mingling of religion, politics, finances, or a mixture of any of the above with friends and relatives must start out with a strong foundation in God to survive, and rarely do we find love strong enough to stand rather than crumble when faced with hurtful challenges.
     
  14. freeatlast

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    The last first. I cannot meet the biblical qualifications for the position of leader (pastor, elder, deacon) although I have been offered in some churches. I was divorced over 20 years ago and abide with the command to remain single and chose not to seek the offer of re-uniting. As for leeway the same that scripture gives.
    I am not a KJV only follower, but I do take a stand against some translations. What is CCM? I follow the teaching of scripture on clothing for both men and women. Clothe ourselves modestly. Yes I do feel a pastor needs to hold to a 24 hour 6 day creation since that is what scripture points to. No one ever read gen for the first time and got any other understanding. As for sbc or any other affiliation I could care less one way or the other. The main thing is if the church teaches and leads in righteousness which few (very few) do today.
     
    #14 freeatlast, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2011

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