The church is a family. Jesus constituted the church as such (Mk 3:31-35), and Paul followed his Master's lead by employing sibling language to talk about fellow believers. This is not a quaint metaphor, but a determinative social reality that guides believers' behavior towards one another. Why is Paul so incensed in 1 Corinthians 6? Because SIBLINGS are taking each other to court (1 Cor 6:6). Why does Jesus's judgment fall on the goats in Matthew 25? Because they do not attend to the needs of siblings (cf. Mt. 25:40, 45). Who doesn't have the love of God according to John? The one who sees a sibling in need and withholds the world's goods from her/him (1 Jn 3:15-16).
This isn't to say that the church is only a family. It's a bride, a building, a body, and sundry other things. And these images provide us with other, complimentary aspects of the nature/organization of the church. Here's the dilemma that I have encountered: when it comes to how the church should be organized in order to accomplish its mission, we run into all sorts of value conflicts. If the church is to be effective in reaching the lost, there needs to be some means of organizing people around a common task. However, all human organizational systems are flawed, and thus have unintended consequences. Some can turn pastors into project managers who never get around to discipling brothers and sisters. Others can make pastors passive and subject to the whims of their congregations. Others reinforce an unbiblical clergy/laity distinction and so stifle ministry. Families and businesses operate with different assumptions and values. Accordingly, here are some things I've been mulling over (n.b. some of these are compliments of my dad)...
(1) When do models of organization stifle pastors from actually leading the church? When do they stifle church members from taking on ministry?
(2) How should we evaluate ministries, especially since they are being run by brothers and sisters?
(3) What does ministry-accountability look like when we are dealing with siblings?
(4) Is it ever okay to fire a staff member for job performance when sin isn't involved? If so, what biblical rationale would you use to fire said person?
(5) When do organizational systems run counter to the principle of the priesthood of all believers?
Take a crack at any one of them, or all of them if you are so inclined.