Many of you have heard our tagline for the Weekender, “moving from connected to the crowd to committed to the family.” So, what do we mean by family? It is easy to say we are family, but what gives that meaning? As my wife and I look and fight for time to spend together, we have landed on watching some television shows. One of those shows is Hawaii Five-O. There is an underlying theme talked about throughout the show that is ingrained in the Hawaiian culture. It is the idea of family or, as they say, ʻohana. A Hawaiian native Hino says,
Today, ʻohana includes all who are brought into the family group. Your ʻohana nourishes you. There are even hānai (adopt, nourish) relationships which feed a person both physically and spiritually. In turn, you share in the responsibilities of your ʻohana’s kuleana (work, responsibility, function). It’s a give and take. There’s a saying: “Prepare for the seven generations ahead.” That means do your work so that those seven generations from now can benefit. People in Hawai‘i, even non-Hawaiians, accept that.
I love that the Hawaiian idea of family is so much deeper than surface-level relationships. These are relationships cultivated for growth with an eye toward the future. As great as the ‘ohana concept is, Christians who prepare for seven generations are thinking too small. As David Platt of the IMB said, “Live today for what is going to matter 10 billion years from today.” At Mercy Hill we want to see relationships grow, sustained for the long haul of life on mission. For this reason, we are focused on community. Our idea of family gives us the freedom and right to walk in community in an authentic and deep way.
The Weekender Brings You in to the Family
The Weekender allows us a chance to bring people, who are new to Mercy Hill and to Christ, in to the family. They get to see that, ultimately, it is Christ’s shed blood that binds us together. But the Weekender gives us a chance to present to everyone their part in the family: whether it is understanding stewardship of our time, talents, and treasure or that serving is an essential part of pointing others to Christ or even that true family walks you through the ups and downs of life, making it essential to the Christian life. The Weekender is far more than a neat, little event to tell you about our church; it is the lifeline to every believer at Mercy Hill.
Have you been? If not, there are only two Weekenders left in 2017. Sign up today at mercyhillgso.com/weekender/.
– Paul Howington (Assimilation Associate Director)