December 8, 2014

The Family Life of the Church

It’s said that you don’t become a “real adult” until you lose both of your parents. At 55 years of age, I’ve become a real adult, and I’m just beginning to understand the depth of that statement. It doesn’t matter that I’ve lived away from home for 35 years and have been married for 32 of those. It doesn’t matter that I’ve raised two adult children of my own. It doesn’t matter that my husband and I have been responsible for our own finances, health insurance, housing, food and education.

It matters relationally.

The two people who brought me into this world, loved me, cared for me, taught me how to walk, talk and move forward are gone. They are no longer there for a brief conversation, a history lesson, an additional perspective or a nurturing word. Their journey has ended and no one else can replace their constancy in my life, nor the personal investment that has been uniquely theirs to give.

I believe this is one of the reasons why God gave us the church. It’s a highly relational, generational asset to any sojourner who wishes to engage. Through Bible teaching, the church helps us understand our place in history. It provides us with new perspectives and inspires us to move forward. When we step closer and join serving groups and ministry opportunities, it offers us generational relationships and provides nurturing friendships. It’s an extended family, with broader experience that helps us travel every season of life.

I am relatively new to Cornerstone—only 18 months in, but I have walked every week of my father’s passing with new friends—those with whom I serve and those in my small group. They have asked about the details and shared their own experiences. They have prayed for me and have been a tremendous support. They are Jesus in the flesh. They have sent cards, text messages and emails. They have offered hugs, help and support. They have stopped to ask, to listen, to remember and to share. They are encouragement to me. Although some are further down the road and others are behind me, together they bring kindness, wisdom and strength.

This is the family life of the church. I believe it is how God intended us to live. It is the support network we offer to one another and which is offered to us. It includes children, teens and adults. It is open to every sojourner who wishes to engage. It is relational and generational—and it moves beyond the personal circumstances of our own birth, childhood and parental support.

So whether you’ve been at Cornerstone forever or, like me, are relatively new—move deeper into the family life of our church. Invest now, and have church family when you need it most.

— Paula Tremayne


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