“Family Win” and How Our Churches Care for Each Other and the World

If the whole family doesn’t win, no one wins.

A church with ten locations is a lot like a family with ten kids. There is the opportunity for great joy and also the possibility of tremendous chaos. At Community Christian Church, we have both! In an effort to make sure our family of church locations were all working together for the greater good and not just for themselves, we began talking about the “family win.”

It’s a biblically-rooted idea that we hoped would radically reorient our sense of identity, impacting how we steward the resources and the influence to which God has entrusted us.

Community Christian Church was an early adopter of the concept of a multi-site church: we are one church, with one staff, one eldership, and one overall budget, but in multiple locations. This month, we will be launching our eleventh Chicagoland campus.

For all the strengths of this model, however, it also presents a challenge: How do we help motivate people who live and worship in communities spread across a fairly large geographic area, many of whom realistically will never meet one another, to contribute sacrificially of their time, talents, and resources for the sake of the whole?

We borrowed the idea of the “family win” from Ryan Kwon, a friend and pastor of Resonate Church in California. Ryan, who grew up in a Korean-American immigrant household, described the sacrifices that his well-educated father made in coming to the U.S., where he worked a maintenance job cleaning bathrooms at LAX Airport.

Why? For the family win—so that his kids could have a better education and, ultimately, a better life than if he had stayed in Korea. Even as a child, however, Ryan was also expected to make sacrifices for his family, because “if the family didn’t ...

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