A Biblical Family Atmosphere
We all have a claim to being part of a family tree; a heritage that determines our eye color or disposes us to love that special dessert. But, as believers in Jesus Christ, we belong to a much bigger family – we’re brothers and sisters in Christ and we live in fellowship with each other. Our family tree is rooted in Jesus Christ.
As Christian leaders, we know that family dynamics can be messy, be it a biological family or a spiritual one. The complex dynamics of workplace relationships don’t make it any easier. So, in the face of these difficulties, how do we best foster an environment for work and worshiping our God, productivity and praise for our Father, accomplishment and adoration of Jesus Christ? We triumph with a biblical family atmosphere.
A biblical family atmosphere is one of truth, love, encouragement, accountability, and patience.
A biblical family atmosphere is one of truth, love, encouragement, accountability, and patience. “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thess. 5:14).
With genuine love and patience, we seek to outdo one another in showing honor, contributing to needs, and displaying hospitality. We pitch-in not because we volunteered for the team, but because we are united as family.
Understanding how to apply the “one-another” commands of the New Testament is essential to building places where team members feel safe, valued, and fulfilled. As such, we “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom. 14:19).
How can leaders create this biblical family atmosphere in ministry?
1. Gather Corporately
First, we can provide opportunities for corporate worship, prayer, praise, and study. Be sure to t aside time (daily or weekly) for departments to pray together and share their needs. This allows our teams to come before God in transparency, vulnerability, and unity. Studying the Scriptures allows for groups to understand, together, the ways we glorify God through our ministries. Guest speakers from other ministries or local churches bring the work of other organizations to light, reminding us that we are indeed one body rooted in Christ Jesus.
2. Celebrate Together
We can celebrate when we achieve our goals, and for absolutely no good reason!
We can celebrate when we achieve our goals, and for absolutely no good reason! Celebrate the end of a year-long project with gift baskets built for each participant. Recognize professional milestones like achieving a new degree with a monetary reward. Provide special team lunches or outings when measurable team goals are met. It is important to create celebration for everyday reasons.
The HR department can have a secret “minister of fun” or “happiness manager” to spark fun and participation. Observe National Coffee Day with a local coffee truck serving everyone’s favorite blend. Build tournament brackets for March Madness Basketball and reward the winners with prizes. Find ways to celebrate and honor staff just by providing ways to encourage the team and build relationships.
3. Encourage One Another
We can encourage our teams in various ways for those in various stages of need. Encouragement comes in many forms and effect our team members in many ways. It can be with monetary support when a crisis strikes. Or it can be the kind, soft words of well-placed counseling. Encouragement can even be a rousing cheerleading session to push someone to reach that final goal. But as leaders in ministry, we must be keenly aware of what’s happening in the lives of our teams and respond accordingly with loving gestures.
4. Demonstrate Hospitality
We can encourage fellowship and demonstrate hospitality. Hospitality is an ancient sacred duty that Christ practiced and one that we should show today. We show hospitality when we welcome another person into our lives. Practice the art of hospitality by organizing meals where the staff can provide the food or the service to their fellow staff members. Our hospitality doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be heartfelt. Give the staff members’ reasons to engage in meaningful and lasting fellowship.
Creating a biblical family atmosphere doesn’t happen by chance. Leaders in Christian organizations must be intentional and thoughtfully build programs that seek to display the attributes of Christ. Our leadership should set an example and say, like Paul, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).
Laurie Jo Dingeldein is introduced most often as the wife of ABWE’s most popular employee, Corporate Chef, Russ Dingeldein. In her other role, she serves as the CFO at ABWE, leading the many teams that provide support functions to 1,200 missionaries in 80 countries. She has spent time in public accounting, and built businesses prior to coming to ABWE nearly 10 years ago.