Discipleship in CPC Families
Family units, including immediate families and extended families, make up a big part of the church community.
This is particularly so for CPC. The spiritual health of our families is, therefore, vital to the spiritual health of
our community, and vice versa. Families are integral to the Lord’s creating purpose. It was He who instituted
marriage and give us offspring. He even puts His relationship with His people in the context of a family (2Cor
6:18; Eph 5:25-27). Christian families are formed in His name (Eph 3:14-15), and there are numerous
passages in the Bible teaching us about how family members should interact with one another. Discipleship
(learning and living faithfully according to the Lord’s design and commands) for the family is essential for
enjoying the blessings that the Lord bestows on our families and glorifying Him through them. In fact,
neglecting that will bring great pain and brokenness.
Over recent decades, family values in society have suffered enormous demise with lifestyle changes to
accommodate materialism, urbanisation and globalisation. We can see this clearly here in Sydney. The
lifestyle of a typical young family is hectic. Due to the high cost of housing and living, typically, both parents
have to hold full-time jobs and young children go to childcare. Most jobs are demanding now, frequently
covering what was the work of 2-3 people previously. Working extended hours and/or taking work home has
become the norm. After a gruelling day at work comes the dash to pick up children, prepare meals, help
children with homework, feed them, settle them for bed and then the tidying up and preparation for the next
day of work. In that exhausting lifestyle, there is no room for in-depth and meaningful communication between
husband and wife, and between parents and children. Increasingly, this is seen as normal and acceptable.
Over time, family relationships are weakened to the extent that they cannot endure the conflicts and hardships
of life, which would further erode those bonds. Frequently, by the time it is realised that there are serious
problems, it is already too late to salvage the relationship(s). Unfortunately, many Christians have not been
able to escape this societal trend, and they find the relevant biblical teachings too idealistic and impractical.
Statistics show that marriage failures, broken families and practical fatherlessness are not much better in the
Christian community compared to society at large.
To live biblically as individuals and family units requires our commitment to discipleship. The Lord has given
us a community in Christ to encourage, remind, exhort, support and journey with each other to do so. I pray
that the Lord will enable CPC to start a family ministry to build a biblical culture in our community of valuing
the great importance of biblical family relationships. In 2023, I would like to see us progress this aspect of
“preventative pastoral care” for families at three levels:
1. Biblical teaching from and off the pulpit. There will be a “Family Month” to help raise awareness.
2. Seminars & workshops to teach practical skills and practices that enrich family life.
3. Formation of support groups to journey together in building stronger biblical families.
Please prayerfully consider participating in this new ministry, to avail yourself of the support of Christ’s
community in this very important aspect of our lives, and/or to help to bring this ministry to fruition