Our Values - Extended Family

This week we look at the value 'Extended Family'. We believe that we need each other. The Father is not looking for more servants or workers, he's looking for sons and daughters. In all we do we desire to do it as family; young, old, male, female, every tribe and tongue together. John Harding speaks to Josh and Charli Langlois about their experiences of belonging to a missional community.

John: Why don’t we begin with you introducing yourselves?
Charli: We’re Josh and Charli. We came to Liverpool to study and that’s where we met. We’re both vets now. We’re married and have a little boy called Ezra. When I came to uni I wasn’t a Christian, I came to faith through friends at uni who connected me into Frontline Church.
Josh: I was brought up in a Christian family on Guernsey. We went to an Anglican church as a family, but when I came along to Frontline it immediately felt like a place where I was comfortable and like it was community, only with a really strong sense of mission - looking outwards - which really fitted me as a person. So we stayed and never looked back!

John: Being part of Frontline, for both of you, means that you’re a long way from your biological families. How has that been for you guys?

Josh: There has been a cost. Family is really important to us both, and we don’t see our biological families as often as we would if we lived elsewhere, but we’ve found a real place to belong here. We’ve found people who love us and support us in every season of life, people we can be vulnerable with and accountable to. When we first got involved in the church, we lived in Runcorn, but we were really challenged that if we were to experience the sort of extended family that we want, we’d need to really invest. So we moved to be closer to people in our Missional Community.
Charli: We wanted to be closer to those we wanted to invest in and who wanted to invest in us.

John: What difference has belonging to a Missional Community made?
Josh: It’s hard to say one thing, because living as extended family doesn’t boil down to one example. It’s about living life together, lending tools and helping with DIY. It’s about having meals together, sharing communion together, the thoughtful text messages. It’s about being committed enough to each other to resolve conflict and challenge. It’s about all the tiny little examples that happen all the time.
Charli: There are people in our extended family whose door is always open to us. That means a lot to us. The thing that hit home the most was when we had our baby, Ezra. People brought food for weeks. They helped us. They rocked Ezra to sleep so I could have a bath. They served us even though they had busy lives. It made such a difference at a time when I had issues just after the birth and we were utterly exhausted.
Josh: We’ve invested in our extended family for quite a few years. Our door is open to them. We all support one another. Now we’re taking this way of living and we’re challenging each other to be missional. So Charli and I are meeting monthly with our neighbours for meals. We’re gathering unchurched people in our home, and we’ll say grace before we eat, and pray for them. Missional Community has really given us the confidence to do that and spurred us on to live differently.
Charli: Yes! The amount of people at work who say, ‘they did that for you?’ Or ‘Oh my goodness, they do this for you’. We try and do those little things for others that have become normal to us but people see them as different and extraordinary.

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