Well, we’ve just completed another Annual General Meeting; a chance to review what we have done as a church, go through the church finances to make sure everything is in order (and, don’t worry, it is!) and to both marvel and celebrate all that we have done in the Name of Jesus this past year.

As I reflect on this year’s AGM, one thing is clear in my mind; the Church is not like a family.

The Church is not like a family. ‘Family’ is not a simile of Church. It is not like a family, it is family. Church is family. Full stop.

It’s not just semantics, a play on words; it is an important theological point. It is easy in AGM reports, financial reviews and the like to forget that we are called not to belong to the same organisation, or be a part of the same club, or even go to church. We are called to be Church, and to belong to one another.When one part hurts, we all hurt; when one part celebrates, we all celebrate. And just like in a regular family, we don’t get to choose who is or isn’t a part of the family (you can choose your friends…); and just like in a regular family there are times when we don’t see eye to eye but our deep love and interconnectedness carries us through.

So, let’s drop the ‘like’, right? We are not like a family, we are family. You and me and me and you and us together, celebrating all that Jesus has done in us and through us (and yes, at times in spite of us). Let’s not limit our activities to those noted in the AGM but walk together and share together and laugh together and cry together and be together. Family. After all, Jesus told us that by this shall all men know…