Message: “01 General Session: Familial—by Design” from David Powlison

David Powlison - October 1, 2017

01 General Session: Familial—by Design

CCEF Conference:  Family

God ordained that you are a familial being, because he is thoroughly familial himself. Our Father conceived the idea of parents and children. Both your physical birth and your rebirth in Christ needed a context of parental nurture, protection, and encouragement for you to grow up. Brothers and sisters are his idea, too. He adopts and raises lots of kids. Whether in your family of origin or in the family of God, each of us needs to learn how to care for and cooperate with our siblings. The Lord also birthed friendship along familial lines. Jesus is not ashamed to be called our older brother and to call us his friends. Friendship grows when we are brotherly and sisterly with others. And ministry is still another familial practice designed by God. Paul described his pastoral care in both motherly and fatherly terms (1 Thess 2). And he equipped the church to be brothers and sisters who are growing up to take on parental responsibilities in ministry to each other. We are familial—by design. This is in the deep structure of what it means to be human. This talk sets the stage for our conference this weekend.

From Series: "CCEF Conference: Family"

Embracing the Blessing. Facing the Brokenness. Family. What image springs to your mind? Big smiles and warm hugs? Dark looks and harsh words? An empty frame and yearning for what never was and may never be? Perhaps it’s more complicated than that–maybe the smile is real, but the eyes reveal something more. Perhaps blessing and brokenness are tangled together. Or perhaps we’re troubled when we compare the snapshots in our mind with images of family immortalized by Norman Rockwell or the picture we envision of what a “Christian family” is supposed to be. But what are we to make of the fact that in all of Scripture not one single family is held up as an idealized role model? How can that be? Because the Bible is no stranger to the complexities of family. At this year’s National Conference, we’ll be exploring the ways God forms and reforms family, how he shapes and reshapes us through family. Whatever our situation or experience, whether single or married, old or young, whatever roles we play, this conference will help us face the brokenness and embrace the blessing of family. Used with permission. This recording is copyrighted by the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). This recording is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and may not be reproduced, transmitted, displayed, prepared as a derivative work, or performed in any form without the prior written consent of CCEF. The distribution of this audio is done with full permission from CCEF. All rights reserved. For more information on classes, materials, speaking events, distance education and other services, please visit

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