African Family Structure Speaks to the Heart of Being a Missional Church Community

My friend Bruce Chitambala from Zambia gave me some great insight into how to communicate “church” to emerging African leaders. Bruce said he has learned to speak of church as family not as institution. As soon as we speak about church in the more traditional way, it conjures up salaries, positions, titles, education and power. But when we speak of church as “family”, then we can are speaking the language of Africa. Everyone understands family is about belonging, sharing, honoring, and upholding the family values.

My African friends seem to view family and extended family in a deeper and often more profound way than myself and others of us from the West. Church as family is about belonging and caring and serving together.