Family has been under attack! For decades, America has been under the constant barrage of separation of families. As Christians, it is not only our privilege, but also our duty to turn the tide of the cultural norms that much of America has accepted. It starts with the utterance of our very own voice. Truth does not stop being truth even when it is silent, and today we need to trumpet  that truth with a loud voice. One that says it with arms spread wide open towards hatred and transforms it into love, acceptance, and belief in one another.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.
— Hebrews 10:24-25

It is clear to see in this scripture the fruit of family. It produces passion towards God, love in action, and encouragement towards each other. However, with the void of family comes the lack of loving nourishment. As I travel across America and see this generation of young people both on campuses and in the workplace, I'm burden to see them come into a place of revival that has healthy family life at its core. This generation carries a deep longing to both belong and to be a part of something that’s larger and more significant then themselves. The answer to this heart wrenching cry is family.

What is family?

Family is a place of safety, empowerment, and support. Throughout scripture, we discover that family is the environment of Heaven. This was and is the mission of Jesus – reconciling men to God through the spirit of adoption.

There are many amazing things I can say about the blessing of being a part of a spiritual family, but one of the most significant marking of true gospel communities is its missional identity. What does missional identity mean? Glad you asked! Missional identity is simply a family of believers united around a common vision and commitment to live missional (a life pursing other's with the love of Jesus), both personally and corporately. These are spiritual families that change the world. They are families that not only live life together, but live life on missions together. 

Growing from a simple community to a missional family? 

I want to share three keys of thinking that I’ve discovered from communities who have gone beyond group meetings to missional families. These families are seeing radical testimonies of personal transformation, salvations, miracles, and breakthrough!

  1. Everyone is a missionary. In missional families, evangelism isn’t just a weekly event, it’s a lifestyle. People in missional families are challenged to live with a mission’s mindset in all areas of life and to view their campus, city, and workplace as mission fields.
  2. Intercession looks like praying for people by name. In missional families, intercessory prayer (prayer on behalf of others) is focused and specific. It looks like writing down names of people, asking the Father for His thoughts for them, and declaring it over their lives. If you want to change how you see someone, pray for them.
  3. Gatherings are unto a purpose. Families come together to gather around the presence of God. This becomes more than just a night of worship and song. It becomes a commissioning gathering. We gather and then we send people out to reach the world with fresh boldness and power. What a powerful worship gathering!   

My prayer for you is pursue a missional lifestyle that invites people to become family. Pray this with me:

Father give me a missional heart to pursue my lost friends and those I encounter daily with your love and the power of the gospel.

Written by Niko Peele, Ignite Movement