Relationships Really Matter
In Mark 3:14, we read that the first reason Jesus chose the twelve disciples is “so that they might be with him.” He did not gather these men simply because they happened to believe the same things or value the same things (they didn’t initially), but he gathered them first to relationship. For Jesus, relationships were not an add-on or a bonus but the means by which he carried out his ministry.
We see the same pattern in the New Testament, with family functioning as the prevailing metaphor for healthy church life. Confluence believes that an emphasis on relationships is a biblical imperative for any group of churches, and it’s crucial that we build strong relationships with one another.
We build strong relationships because:
- God is a relational God.
- God's plan has always been to fill the earth through families (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 12:2-3).
- The New Testament churches embraced the language of family. For example, Paul writes in Ephesians 3:14-15: "I kneel before the Father from whom His whole family on heaven and earth derives its name."
- The New Testament pattern of leadership had a relational bent (Romans 15:30-31, 2 Timothy 1:2; 1 Corinthians 4:17).
For those reasons, we are theologically convinced of the importance of strong, familial relationships between churches and leaders. We want to be churches that are not only on mission, but on mission together.