So fellow elder, which comes first for you in your attitude to your church? Is the church your family or your flock? Yes, both are true. You are a brother/sister in the church family and you are a shepherd responsible for the flock. But in your attitude to the church, which takes precedence? You may say that this is an unimportant question because both have their place. However, I do not think so. I suggest that your answer to the question has big ramifications in respect of how you view who you are.
The difference focusses upon the difference between home and work. “Family” engenders the image of home whilst “flock” appertains more towards work.
A shepherd works in tending the flock under his care. Accordingly, the man who conceives of himself primarily as a shepherd tending the flock will move towards viewing his call in and to the church as a professional. “I am here to care for these people” is something of a job description. This will then lead to him looking for his spiritual solace and nourishment outside the church.
However, when we view the church primarily as our family then our perspective is very different. I am thereby, viewing the church as the essential place where my life is lived when I view it as my family. It is the place where I am fed and am supported.