Since the start of February this year these four words have been ringing loud in my spirit—Church Begins At Home! There is absolutely no church without a home.
Long before our Lord announced His plan to build His Church in Matthew 16:18, and before the Church actually came into existence in Acts 2, God had for eons rolled out His plan for the home in Genesis 2. The home is thousands of years older than the Church. It is very telling that God started with the home and not the church. In God‘s scheme of things, the home is the foundation for the Church. In order to build the church we must focus on building families. We serve a God of families.
"At that time," declares the LORD, "I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people." (Jeremiah 31:1)
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” (Ephesians 3:14-15)
Church begins at home! Evangelsim begins at home; discipleship begins at home; missions begins at home; victory begins at home, success begins at home, all because salvation begins at home. Whatever you want to see happen in church, you must bring it from home. If you want to see love in church, bring it from home. If you want to see joy in church, bring it from home. If you want to experience peace in church, you must bring it from home.
More often than not, church folk see church as a place that’s completely different from home insomuch that they demonstrate “bipolar” tendencies, acting differently at home and differently in church. They see church as a place and not as a people who are supposed to have a life— personal relationships with God at home. Church is not where we meet but who we are. Church is certainly not a building although that’s the way many see it nowadays.
So the real question is, who are we? Who are we at home? We can fake who we are at church but the real “us” is very glaring at home. And that is the crux of the matter. Our Lord’s idea of salvation as well as the apostolic idea of salvation is that we shall be saved and our household (See Luke 19:9; Acts 16:31). Many believers who claim to be “saved” only see themselves saved in church and not at home. They feel they can behave anyhow they want at home, at work, at school, in the neighbourhood or anywhere else. Many know about church life but they know very little about home life. What kind of husband are you at home? What kind of wife are you at home? What kind of child are you at home if you’re still living with your parents?
Christianity truly begins at home. The home is God’s divine arrangement for the fulfilment of salvation. God’s plan for the families that make up Christ’s Church is that they come from redeemed homes where Christ is at the Center. The home is God’s training ground for life. God Himself succumbed to His own plan for the home when He caused the Messiah to be born into a family. Think about that! It is indeed very profound. Jesus spent more at home than He did at church if you will. Thirty years of his life was spent living with His family. He only spent three and half years doing the work of God. What does that tell you? God is the God if families. Families are important to Him.
~ Tony Osuobeni