Church As Family

Bull wrote:

I think that we (the body of Christ in the western world) are really rubbish at being family. We don’t tell it like it really is. (Usually so that we don’t offend anyone!)

We are not honest with one another. We don’t ask difficult questions, unless we don’t know it’s a difficult question. We definitely don’t confess our sins either. (Fear that we will no longer be taken seriously.)

“How are you and the family?” is an essay question.

The answer we should come up with should start “How long have you got?”

Our usual answer is “We’re fine.”

I have concerns about prosperity theology, contemplative spirituality and other things we have discussed on Signposts. But I think we are not qualified to really go for these things unless we deal with the fundamental question “How do we AGAPE one another in Spirit and in Truth?”

Are we comfortable to share our real issues with our local church family (whatever form that gathering takes), without the fear of being judged? Are we in fact judged if we do so – or does it depend upon where the issue lies?

How should we prioritise our giving of money, time and effort – when faced with a church vision to build for example, meetings to run, or people in desperate need?

What did Jesus say about this?

What does the expression of family look like in a church? Is this what we are called to be? If so, how do we encourage this expression in our midst? How is it distinguishable from the expression of the church group as an organisation?

I have a lot of thoughts on this personally, but will share them in the thread that follows. For a start, I will add the remainder of Bull’s previous comment below here, to get the ball rolling with some actual examples.

**********************
RavingPente


35 thoughts on “Church As Family

  1. The rest of Bull’s previous comment – examples:

    Mrs Bull has a lump in her breast. We believe it to be benign as she has had benign lumps before. However, she had the last of them removed more than ten years ago.
    We are not telling others in the church about this.

    Why not? It’s private. It’s personal. Mrs Bull doesn’t want to be judged and in truth she is very relaxed about it and isn’t thinking about it. We’ve been referred but the NHS being what it is, it’ll probably be months before we have an examination.

    I am not worried about it either. However, I mention it as a real life example about how we completely shut other people out of our lives.

    The example of the widow above could be symptomatic of many things. But one of those things is likely to be ignorance. “Well, we haven’t made a big thing about it in the church and she’s probably all right with life insurance etc.”

    and

    “I’m sure that her friends are providing all the emotional support she needs at this difficult time … and we are praying for the family of course.”

    None of that is practical help but hey … if the Pastor hasn’t directed us, then all we can do is chuck money at the building fund.

  2. What would represent Christ to the community – a large campus-like complex or an immediate response spiritually, emotionally and financially to any
    crisis by a congregation, starting with the senior pastor? It’s a no-brainer.

    Is church a safe place anymore? Can we share our problems having an assurance they won’t be raised at a staff meeting? Do we deserve the type of privacy given within the catholic confessional method?

    How often has public prayer been used as a place to broadcast someone’s private concerns (unbeknownst to the person seeking prayer)?

    When was the last time any of us truly experienced agape love from one another or it something only Christ can do?

  3. “When was the last time any of us truly experienced agape love from one another or it something only Christ can do?”

    Begs the question – does anyone know what it is?

    While I have sympathy with Bull’s premise that westerners don’t do family well, I nevertheless query it.

    Maybe we do do family not so good, but I bet plenty of other cultures don’t do it so well either – may be in different ways – afterall the theory is we all come from the same genetic stock with the same pre-dispositions.

    There are some things that I just wouldn’t share with “the” church full stop – none of their beeswax. There other things that are appropriate.

    I think ideally we should all have Christian brothers and sisters – across all generations ideally – that we would share things with.

    Other times sharing despite the best of intentions is in reality not so bright, and in the end just plain damaging.

    I would be happy to share about cancer for instance, but not necessarily adultery in a broad setting – especially if it is in house.

    In case your wondering despite the fact I shouldn’t have my eyes, no I haven’t….

    But I know some who have, noted the confession – which was not broadcast and with very few people having an inkling – lived with the damage since then, which will be ongoing.

    While we may be ‘saved’, most of us have a lot of growing up to do – work in progress.

    So yes I’m in favour of sharing – but sharing on a really deep level I think in reality -is and should be limited to a few.

    I think the real issues is that for those of us who have the few – and I don’t see myself in that category unfortunately – maybe as Bull says – at that level we don’t do family well.

  4. “So yes I’m in favour of sharing – but sharing on a really deep level I think in reality -is and should be limited to a few.”

    Yes, I’d have to agree that we need to exercise some wisdom in this area.

    We don’t want to treat scripture as law, so when it says things like:
    “16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…”

    – I don’t think that means that we have to confess our sins to everyone around us. As MN says, there will hopefully be relationships in place for those things, or elders where needed when perhaps its needed and those relationships aren’t in place.

    – We need to be very careful that our sharing isn’t damaging; going to the right person is important. We need to try to exercise love when we share, to know when and where it is appropriate or not.

    – When something is shared, confidence should be maintained. In the context of ‘family’ – if one of my kids tells me something, I don’t have to let the other one know about it.

    – “Can we share our problems having an assurance they won’t be raised at a staff meeting? ” – Teddy

    I gather this can be a real problem, and have even come across interchurch gossip and opinion related to people’s personal issues that shouldn’t ever have crossed those borders. As MN says, you have to really be careful when you share and who you share it with.

    I know people who shared their issues with a pastor who then told me his opinion of their issues – he shouldn’t have done that. Naturally, I then never shared anything with that pastor.

    I think that if one turns to a counselling department or pastor for the purpose of sharing a difficult issue, privacy should be absolutely maintained, but there may be times when another person needs to be brought in – ideally, permission to share information with that person should be sought. However, there could also be times when the counsellor or pastor is being taken advantage of by the counsellee – there does need to be some way of dealing with that too. Perhaps a well organised counselling department has precedures in place for this? This is an example of ‘family’ support roles being taken on by an organisation, when they get beyond the skill of the average person, I guess.

    But in terms of family – can it really be replicated in an organisation? We may be blessed with individual relationships within that place where those people do become like a family that we relate to in love, in reality, not just theory.

    Families are definitely relational. One of the biggest things that makes it difficult for us to be like ‘family’ to one another, I think, is lack of time to build the relationships. On the other hand, you can have a family member that you don’t see much of, but you’d still be there for them if they had a problem.

    But I think the point of family is that we are brothers and sisters of the one Father and elder Brother, and we are to love one another as God has loved us. So really the question as Bull put it originally, is how do we practically love one another, and how do we encourage the kind of relationships where that can take place? Sometimes its easier to say how it shouldn’t happen! Pragmatism often overtakes love. Our hearts are the place it needs to start, and we need to let love overrule other demands sometimes.

  5. good comments all.

    I picked on the western church as opposed to church elsewhere as we are rich, prosperous, live in countries with good welfare systems and so on. Since we all pay taxes to look after each other in difficult times, why does the church need to do anything practical for people?

    While we are there … should church do practical things for non-believers?

    We do things for the sake of evangelism … great. But then once you are in the church, your on your own. (Or am I exaggerating a little?)

    Maybe church is the same the world over. I just think that in poor countries, Christians end up relying on each other more.

  6. “What does the expression of family look like in church?

    I think it depends on the size of the church and what we see as church. A small church can resemble a family if it is the same size of a large extended family. But a family of 10,000 isn’t practical.

    Providing money for every need in a church that size isn’t always practical. In our family we dont even by all the cousins etc Christmas presents.

    Multiple families can develop within a large church however. These are the relationships we put the effort into building and remain loyal to. These tight nit groups can effectively become someones “church” even within the bigger setting of a large organisation church.

    Within this tight nit “church” it is easier to fulfil different aspects like confessing sins (it is much safer). Also providing for one another’s needs becomes a heart felt expression from the people within that group.

    The problem usually arises when the leadership model of the organisation overlays a group like this and finds the need to control, grow and report back to the heirarchy.

    Rather than recognise what is already going on at the grass roots level and equip that, we are usually implored to rally around a central focus (vision) – again goes back to producing a product, dividing labour to manufacture that product and marketing it so that everyone knows their need for it.

  7. Her’s a question then: what’s the difference in the love shown by a close knit community group for people within its ranks (local sporting club, Lions etc), and Christians within a church – taking Muppet’s comments at face value?

    Is there a difference? Why would people gravitate to one and not the other (if forced to choose)?

    OK Christians might have a view of how they should relate to each other and make a fair fist of doing that, but….so?

  8. “Are we comfortable to share our real issues with our local church family (whatever form that gathering takes), without the fear of being judged? Are we in fact judged if we do so – or does it depend upon where the issue lies?”

    With the church I go to, people know I do this site. On the other hand, if I went into CCC or Hillsong and told ANYONE I did this, they would see me as the spawn of Satan (depending if they are loyal to the system). No future, no sympathy. I would be regarded as evil.

    You can’t approach leadership to deal with these issues. For example, if you say something was seriously wrong with their message, they’ll automatically see you as the one being out of line.

    You can’t talk to someone else about getting together with someone who thinks the same as you on an issue, or all of a sudden you’re considered divisive.

    The unloving aspect of all that goes on boils down to the leadership and what they teach. A true leader or teacher would hate to think that their teachings would cause bad division in the church or badly affect peoples lives.

    If this process could be addressed, the family should get on fine. They should have someone called an “Issues Mediator” or “Doctrine Mediator” so that people like Houston or Bentley can hear what people are honestly saying about their teachings, so that they can see what needs to be addressed in their church.

    Their either needs to be correction, clarity or repentance. I reckon this could be a powerful solution to quite a few of the churches problems.

  9. “What does the expression of family look like in church?

    This was talked about at our church last year. The family sees ALL the worst stuff but are generally stuck with what they’ve got.

    Love, tolerance, support and correction are the things that make a family a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.

  10. Some great points in this thread, I think.

    S&P – your summary is great – “Love, tolerance, support and correction are the things that make a family a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.”

    And it’s great to hear that your church addressed this topic. Things like ‘correction’ are best in the context of a loving relationship, where the person being corrected knows that they are safe and loved, which can happen in a healthy family. Then the correction is more likely to be understood as an act of concern rather than one of judgement.

    Muppet made some points that really sum up what I’ve seen:

    “Multiple families can develop within a large church however. These are the relationships we put the effort into building and remain loyal to. These tight nit groups can effectively become someones “church” even within the bigger setting of a large organisation church.”

    That’s one of the reasons I think of the actual church being present within organisations, but not being the organisations. These people really become the church towards one another.

    I have often wished that what was happening at the grass roots was recognised, valued and encouraged, and I think in a healthy church it is. Unfortunately, some leaders see these relational groupings as a threat of some kind – for example, groups at our church were discouraged from going on retreats together (as ‘family’) and the value of that kind of relationship was put down by the leadership – because they didn’t like it reducing the congregation numbers at a Sunday service. They built all kinds of doctrines to justify why people should ensure they were at the service on Sunday and not away at a retreat with fellow congregation members. (Even if this was a once a year thing, organised by a home group, it didn’t get leadership approval.) Definitely those relationships were seen by the senior leadership as being secondary to the life of the church.

    It was sad to see this kind of thing which actually strengthened the bonds between members of that community being officially discouraged. In fact, many congregation members thought the official attitude (and public reprimands) was just silly.

  11. It is so important to have good heart relationships with one another, that Jesus even contrasted this with religious actions:

    Matthew 5:23-24:
    ” 23″Therefore if you are (AF)presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

    24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be (AG)reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. ”

    So the sacred religious event of making a sacrifice was less important before God than reconciling to your brother when your heart remembered you had offended him in some way.

    Not that this is to be treated as law – but as a general principle, we can see which is most important in God’s eyes.

    So the business of church shouldn’t come before the relationships of being the church – or that’s my take on it – but in fact those relationships will enhance the activities of a church if given a chance.

  12. S&P raised the fact that we talk about issues here that we might not be comfortable raising in our immediate church family (well, depends which church family you are part of at any given time)…

    “With the church I go to, people know I do this site. On the other hand, if I went into CCC or Hillsong and told ANYONE I did this, they would see me as the spawn of Satan (depending if they are loyal to the system). No future, no sympathy. I would be regarded as evil.” S&P

    I told friends from my ex-church that I did this site, because I didn’t want to be hiding it from them. It was important I felt, to be honest to those close to me, even if they weren’t comfortable. Some of these people I still regard as part of my inner family in Christ. The issue of sin and rebellion on my part was raised by some – however, as we discussed things further, I think we reached greater understanding, though not likemindedness on the topic. Others on the other hand have been able to share some of their own concerns on some issues, while they may not participate here, and can see merit in having a place for such discussions (though not a place just for having a go at people).

  13. There is supposed to be confidentiality when sharing your peronsal issues but in these big churches you end up telling strangers (prayer, laying of hands), small group prayers, written prayer requests and the like. This is not only a bit dangerous it is illegal to disclose personal information in this way. There may be some people who are discreet but how can you know.

  14. “We do things for the sake of evangelism … great. But then once you are in the church, your on your own. (Or am I exaggerating a little?)”-Bull

    Very true at least for the mega churches. The aim is to get them down the front saying the sinners prayer. Once that’s done its goal achieved, move on to the next conquest, forget about the person now converted (especially if they don’t turn out to be useful cog in the converting machinery).

    The new convert finding no friendship or fellowship to speak of goes back to his old haunts, his old friends for that much needed human companionship and soon goes back to his old ways.

    We are saved by the faith we have in Jesus now not the fact we once took part in a religious ceremony many years ago (even a very good one).

    We need to keep people in the body of Christ not just get them to sign on the dotted line.

  15. When I was at C3 at Brookvale, it was regarded as pretty important to get new converts into a home group as soon as possible, because the church was very aware that this was how people would connect with others in the church. Now they are even called ‘Connect’ groups – though I’m not sure if that refers to connecting people with God or with one another, or both.

    When I changed churches, the first thing I did (since I assumed the ropes were the same), was to join a local home group.

    In a megachurch, and in many medium sized churches, the home group is the method for developing a ‘family’ within the church.

    In my experience (with more than a dozen home groups behind me), you can make good friends this way, become close to some people and at least form familiar friendships with others. Sometimes you might not fit a particular home group; that’s not unusual; then its time to remain available for one that fits better if the opportunity arises.

    The sad part was sometimes forming what were thought to be friendships that disappeared as soon as the home group stopped meeting. Still, its not a bad starting point, and even if a group didn’t fit well, for a time there was often merit in attending, and at least a mutual respect. The well organised home group system was one of the best aspects of attending C3 in my view.

    I know that most churches have these groups or their equivalent.

  16. Phoenix7 says “We need to keep people in the body of Christ not just get them to sign on the dotted line”…

    It’s an interesting statement though somewhat suggestive of “works”. I agree we need to follow up with fellowship etc however it’s the work of the Holy Spirit that establishes one in the body. Jesus will lose none that the Father has given Him.

  17. Yes, I agree Teddy.

    Still, following up with fellowship is the least we can offer a new convert within a congregation, though we shouldn’t insist if they aren’t interested.

  18. Perhaps. It’s always good to find out why there is a lack of interest.

    It might also imply a wariness after a previous bad experience, or a desire to join a different church group, or even a lack of available time. All of these might elicit different responses from us.

    Re the time one – have you heard of ‘tithing your time’. People used to say that if you tithed your time, God would give you more time by multiplying the work you were able to do in whatever time you had left. 🙂

  19. Oh RP! I’ve done something like that! Funny thing though, there was an occasion where I made something for a guest at a C3 womens conference. It was to do with the child victims from Kosovo and some stuff happened in the making of it. The time factor was very significant and there’s no way I could have done the work in time without some supernatural intervention. Still can’t get my head around it.

  20. That’s pretty fantastic. I think the problems happen when we reduce God to a formula – put this in, get this back out. But what you describe is a special event with God moving in a special way. Those things are so encouraging, and have everything to do with His grace and love.

  21. Yes I agree homegroups can be beneficial, depends who’s leading it and their maturity in Christ. But me too RP, when I was first attending a pentecostal I met a few people whom Im still friends today, they now are not going to church, or going to a more traditional or whatever, but at that particular church i went to, the leader was very mature and wise

  22. Teddy your reading between the lines of my statement to see something there that I did not put there. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

    That is what I am saying, you are saved by faith, not by saying a set of pre-prescribed words that someone else is telling you to say. The sinners prayer is not even found in the bible.

    It is the faith that motivates you to prayer the sinners prayer that saves you.

    Not everyone who goes down the front and prayers the sinners prayer even continues to “claim” to be a Christian for the rest of their life. Many who have once prayed the sinners prayer go on years down the track to deny that they have any faith. Such people exist. I question if such people were genuinely saved in the first place. but that is what I am talking about.

    I also think individuals are rresponsible for what happens to them not the church. Never the less providing people with a church family can only be off benfit to their walk with Christ.

  23. I am aware of the fact that home groups, connect groups, etc are the way to go to get to know people even in a small church and far more so in a big church. I think you have to pursue them yourself though. I suspect that new converts are falling through the cracks who don’t pursue them. I know of some perosnaly who have. And no I don’t know what to do about that.

    I am also slightly miffed that I spent 7 years attending Anglican church home groups (changing to a new group every year as was the tradition) only to find that no friendships survived after the group was over (but hey thats my fault as much as anyones I guess).

    I did join a CCCOF group once but found I couldn’t tolerate the theology, the leader was big into Hagin whose even more blasphemous than Benny Hinn. I didn’t have the heart to tell the leader (an old couple) that I was leaving the group because I thought they were heretics.

    I am aspergic and have an honest streak in me, so I said I was leaving (when they rang up to ask why) because I wanted to find a group with people my own age to get to know (or words to that effect) and that actualy attended at OF where I was going. Till then it was just me and the old couple and one or two other people. They went to silver water too not to oxford falls. So I wasnt getting to know anyone at OF by being in their group (I stayed there nearly a year, they were a lovely old couple but I had to move on).

    If things had turned out the way the old couple had wanted I would have started my own connect group with my two best friends (one a die hard athiest, the other a very solid Christian already commited elsewhere). Thing is even if that had happended I still wouldn’t have been connecting to the rest of the church. Hey they are already my friends I already know them.

    I joined a bush walking group, it was good for the first two meetings, then myteriously I got kicked out by the female leader (turns out she was a fiend/relative of the old couple and I suspect that had something to do with it) still not sure what the tresspass I was supposed to have commiteed was though (it was her group and she was the leader and she didn’t have to explain it too me). Anyway haven’t joined any group since…sorry for diverging to my life story.

    Actualy there are 3 reasons I don’t join a CCCOF home group, even though I still go to CCCOF

    1) To avoid the continual pressure to be out converting people, inviting people (I’m ultra shy and the ultimate hermit..I only speak to people on the web) that I can’t live up to (plus the sense that I’m really just there as a converting tool rather than a person with problems they are genuinely ineterested in).

    2) I can’t stomach the WoF theology and the like that seems to be realy heavy in the small groups. But I can often handle the main church sermons (after turning a blind eye to the “your finances get it if you don’t gave us money” mini blackmale pre-sermon sermon. From my experience the connect groups go too deep into WoF, NAR whatever heresies.

    3) A general disillusionment with home groups.

  24. For the record while I am Christian I don’t consider my to be attending church anywhere. I consider myself a Chrisian out in the wilderness not attending any church anywhere.

    I do turn up to CCCOF most weeks to enjoy the live band and sing praises to God. But as I don’t consider CCCOF to be a real church I don’t consider going to CCCOF attending church (its just a place a go to on Sunday nights because it has great Christian themed music which I like). I certainly don’t know or fellowship with anyone there.

    I also practice tithing to them in case I find a real church to go to one day I’ll already be in the habbit of tithing (though I give 10% of my net income to them I don’t consider the money I give them as a tithe as they’re not a real church).

    Note I don’t believ that Christians are required to tither (in the New Testament ther is no tithe command, rather we are free to give what we chose). Now that I have agood job I chose 10%, whe I was unemployed it was more like 5%.

    If Josh gives more sermons I might start considering CCCOF a proper church (he does have a real heart after God, and a real humble spirit).

  25. Phoenix7 – sorry if I came across that way. I wasn’t sure that’s what you meant.

    How do you manage to stay at C3 without being incredibly frustrated? The music was an issue for us (among so many other things) – it’s all about us not Christ. Have a look at the attached pdf I’m listening to at the moment, such a differences in the lyrics compared to today’s “girly” offerings 🙂
    http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2009/09/the-suicide-of-thought.html

    Any new converts aren’t going to hear the gospel on a regular basis, and they will think it’s real church to have your best life now. I 100% agree with you re the sinners prayer not being biblical. That came about through Charles Finney and his ilk, and Finney didn’t even believe in the substitionary atonement of Christ!

    By the way, ask most folks at C3 what is substitionary atonement and you’ll probably get a blank stare.

    I’m meeting some C3 friends today and it gets harder and harder. The word/faith heresy is creeping in, I’m so surprised as they were not like that over the past years.

    But as a dear friend said, “Remember that you’re defending a lion who is perfectly capable of defending Himself. And your friends are defending figments of their imagination.”

  26. You’ll note that I called CCC music “Christian themed music” rather than “Christian music”, there is a reason for that 🙂

    You’ll also note that I never said I went to church just that I go to CCC, there is a difference.

    You see if you think of CCC as a church then yes you will be disappointed. If however you just consider it to be a night club, one which plays, more Christian themed music than most night clubs, has less violence, and is alcohol free, then it starts looking good.

    I am a single unmarried guy and I consier CCC to be my night club. (If I were married I wouldn’t be going to night clubs – and no I’m not looking for a one night stand but a wife – not that I know how CCC can help me there but hey it still beats staying home watching telly on Sun night).

    Yes I would much rather be going to church on a Sunday night but I don’t know of any that aren’t majorly flawed. Having seen what worship can be like (albeit the lyricks could be improved) I can not sit through an Anglican service again.

    I guess there’s probably some decent churhces out there. But inertia keeps me where I am.

    I keep telling myself I will go church hunting for a new church but putting it off.

  27. Have to agree Phoenix I know alot of single people that go to CCC looking for a partner/marriage. That’s ok I think, of course we want all want a Christian or similiar, I admire your persistance, just keep looking out for a partner in “normal” life too, take up hobbies you like, join an educational class, community volunteer work. There are alot of nice people out there, normal people

  28. I also agree that making a confession down the front doesn’t ‘save’ you – yes, its the saving faith in your heart, and also, the confession is the result of that faith – it will happen naturally as evidence that the faith is real, as you reveal your faith to others you know. In fact, confessing down the front of a group of likeminded people isn’t nearly as challenging or as great an evidence of faith, as confessing to people who don’t yet share your faith.

    Baptism is of course a need for new converts – so we really do need to attempt to let them know about that, and if their conversion is real, they would desire it once they understand the teaching.

    Pheonix – your experience with home groups is interesting. I do know what its like to find one I don’t gel with. I was very fortunate that the first couple of groups I was involved with at C3 were really great. (Some of the leaders from those groups are now leading churches elsewhere.) Mainly I learnt about moving in the gifts of the Spirit, and praying in faith with a group of people, plus sharing our lives in order to pray for one another and encourage one another.

    It is a struggle to attend a group where the leader feels a need to do a ‘mini-preach’ and doesn’t really have the gift to do it on a regular basis. Had that experience too – but in some groups, the rest of the meeting made up for it – fantastic small group worship, or wonderful fellowship and prayer.

    When I left that church, the next one I attended had a demographic that was much more like myself. I felt an instant fit. It was much easier to find home groups which worked in that sense, although the style was different.

    Pheonix, if you do want to try out another church for a better fit – and I’m not suggesting you should – I can let you know where I used to go (email me at ravingpente@gmail.com). It might work for you since you are studying, and its full of people in that situation or who have been there. I didn’t find that at C3OF so much at the time I went there, although it may have changed since. Having said that, the worship is probably more of a ‘night club’ experience at C3OF!

    BTW – dating was no big deal at the second church, whereas at the first one, you felt as though all eyes were on you if you went out with someone – but this was a long time ago. At the second church, it was just ‘normal’. So if you are looking for a wife, that might make it easier. 🙂

  29. BTW – in my experience, C3OF is the absolute worst place to go and look for a partner! Now I might be out of date here, but I know women who have been available and single for 20 years there; fantastic, intelligent, attractive women, in my view – nothing wrong with them! For some reason, it was just not an environment where it was easy for them to be asked out. My next church – utterly different; most people met their husbands and wives; went out with people to get to know them, and handled things with dignity if it was a no-goer – no great gossip or drama. Just because there are a lot of people somewhere doesn’t mean its going to be easier to find a partner – quite the reverse at times.

  30. RP, that’s because some of the women have such high expectations of men, that none can live up too. The perfect man doesn’t exist, neither the perfect woman. This is something I realised in counselling situations. They have this “knight in shining armour” expectation (too many movies influencing that ideal) and what perfectly good man has that talent? I feel sorry for the guys.

    Our kids prayed about it and, interestingly enough, trusted parental advice when it came to choice.

    Now this is going to be contraversial but the leadership role of women at C3 has a certain edge of power to it and I don’t think that’s necessarily biblical. In the complementarian model the man has that primary leadership role and quite frankly some of the young guys there are scared off by these “powerful” women.

    It’s almost like the women (unintentionally) price themselves out of the market. Yes, we have the right to expect a good match, God has a way of bringing the most unlikely people together.

  31. “RP, that’s because some of the women have such high expectations of men, that none can live up too. ”

    Sorry, Teddy – that’s just not true in the cases I know and would only insult these great women. These (multiple) women aren’t expecting the perfect man. Any delusions of that nature went out the window long ago. They went out with those who asked them but those times didn’t work out (sometimes they were terribly mismatched to start with, but these women were willing to give people a go). Mind you, it was years between the askings, in some cases. What made it particularly hard is that some had turned down good relationships with well suited men who didn’t attend C3. That was the really sad bit, in hindsight. The other problem was the vast outnumbering of single women to single men.

    As for the leadership role of women at C3 – I do agree that some young men are ‘scared’ off by powerful women. That is something that any woman in a leadership role had to contend with. It would have been harder for many of those women. However – there were plenty of other women in non-leadership roles who had the same problem, including myself when I was there. When I changed churches, the problem disappeared, and I wasn’t looking for a husband at all, but was asked out by more Christian men in one year after that than in 9 years prior at C3OF. I don’t think I changed that much overnight.

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