I often have déjà vu moments (they seem more frequent as I get older) when I see someone who looks so familiar that I know I have met them before. This can create some awkward interactions when I tell them I think I met them but have forgotten their name, then they inform me we haven’t met.
I recently saw a guy in a church service that I thought I knew. As I introduced myself I realized I had not met him but he sure looked familiar. Then his brother came up, who is part of our congregation, and mentioned that he was his older brother. Then I looked at them together and noticed all the traits that obviously came from their family genetics.
Our DNA is like an instruction manual. It has all of the instructions that make us who we are, how we look, even how we act. Those instructions come in the form of genes. Each gene has the instructions for one small part of you.
Not all copies of genes are alike! In fact that is where all the wonderful variety around us comes from. We all have pretty much the same genes, just different versions. And not all versions of a gene are created equal. Some versions are stronger than others. The stronger version is called dominant and the weaker one recessive. Because of this, dominant versions almost always win over recessive ones.
There is a wonderful diversity in our C2C and Salt and Light family. There is a Spiritual genetic code that you will hopefully find in all the variety of churches among our family. There are some dominant genes that you will see manifest in the midst of a great variety of churches. Here are our dominant genes. Hopefully when you meet some of our churches, like my meeting with the afore mentioned brother, you will see these genetic traits expressed.
1) Everything in the Body of Christ is relational (relationship with God and one another) – This is a central issue in the Kingdom of God (Mk 12:28-34). We believe that brother/sister relationships, pastor/disciple relationships, and small group relationships are a key to leaders, local churches and the life of our family of churches.
2) Family is the launching pad for all we do – The pattern in Genesis was that God created a family first then gave them a mission (be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and rule over the earth). In fact a central theme of the Bible can be expressed in the phrase, “God’s family on God’s mission.” God works through spiritual and natural family, to give us a place of belonging, love, fun, joy, security, friendship, vision, encouragement and care. Fatherhood and motherhood is a key to strong healthy families. We believe that there is a joint (relational connection) mandate for men and women within family to fulfill their destiny.
3) Anointed servant leadership, as Jesus taught and modeled it, is vital to build up everyone in the body of Christ – It helps everyone to grow to full maturity and fulfill their God given destiny. Understanding and receiving the spiritual authority of anointed leaders allows us to live under its blessing.
4) Generous living and giving is a key to individuals and communities enjoying the blessing of God – Tithing is the starting point for giving, but generosity will take us far beyond that.
5) Discipleship is a key to growing all of God’s people into maturity – The Great Commission (Mt 28) was a call to “make disciples” not “deciders.” Discipleship is an important key for each person to play their full part in the purposes of God’s Kingdom. We encourage strongly the fostering of relationships of discipleship, where personal pastoring and mentoring is a key.
6) Ephesians 4 ministry is essential – We believe that receiving apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers into local churches brings increased vision and spiritual impact, and provides good care, counsel, and accountability for local church leaders. This is a key way that we experience connections and encouragement within the family of churches.
7) It is important to connect with the wider body of Christ – We encourage an atmosphere of working together with others churches in family of churches as well as churches beyond them. It is a mark of a healthy church to relate to and receive from others. Isolation at any level leads to spiritual decline.
8) We want to value the diversity in our family of churches – There are different styles of leadership and models of church among our greater family of churches. As we value and appreciate them it helps us understand and enjoy the richness of the body of Christ, and we want tot live in an atmosphere of respect and mutual appreciation.
As you get around churches connected with C2C and Salt and Light see if you can see the genetic traits and family resemblance.