Let me just point out that I am
aware that many will not agree with
the positions I am about to take in
I am sorry.
You can feel free to disagree with
me as long as you are respectful in
I want to tell you about my feelings
about the Family-Integrated Church.
To do that, I need to define what it is.
The Family-Integrated Church operates
differently than most modern churches today.
In a Family-Integrated Church you will not
find long halls of Sunday School classrooms,
you won't find Children's Church and there is
no Youth Group.
There are none of these things in a
There is a reason.
In the Family-Integrated church the children
remain with the parents through the entire
Sunday School and Worship Time. The information
shared is designed to be understood, to a certain
degree by all ages. What is not understood is to
be explained at home during the week. Church is meant
to be the "jumping off" point for family discussion
and study throughout the week.
Those of us who have felt ourselves called to
worship in this way are enjoying the following
1. After church discussion is relevant to the entire
family because we all heard the same things.
2. The Dads are the primary spiritual leaders and remain
so since that authority is not handed off to Teachers and
Youth Leaders at Church.
3. The youth of the church begin to participate and grow
in responsibility in the congregation and therefore do not
desire to leave as they grow older and have that option.
4. The generations do activities together so that you have
the older mentoring the younger... and the younger encouraging the
5. The parent who wishes to remain in the service with their child
does not have to feel badly or peer pressured into placing that
child into a nursery with strangers or potentially sick children.
(Personal note: Every week we would seem to pick up something
from church when the kids were babies.)
6. The fellowship in the church is balanced. It is family centered.
The nights out running are cut significantly because events are scheduled
to include the entire family not just one here and another there.
7. Singles in the church have an instant family...or several. We make it a priority to include the singles into the family activities and at meals in our homes.
8. Broken families have support and love. The whole families come along beside and include those who need some gaps filled in. (Another personal note: As our church has made this decision there was resistance and fear from some who did not see themselves worshiping as a whole family...due to a spouse not attending or being a broken home...these individuals and families have been encouraged to let us come along beside them and encourage, uplift and mentor where it is needed. This is what the Body of Christ is all about! Jesus ministered to all kinds of families and He showed a lot of LOVE for the children.)
These are just a few practical ways that the Family-Integrated Church makes sense in today's hurried, tense, fractured family society. I know that it is not popular. All you have to do is look at Vision Forum's Family Integrated web site to see that most of these churches are quite small and far between. I think this is changing. Over the past few years I have been struck by how business-like most churches have become. In the quest to bring in the multitudes they have compromised and have lost the ability to truly disciple and care about those that come in. The sermons are often feel good messages that do not require a Bible.
I am painting with a wide brush, I know.
Your church may not be like that.
Not all large churches are.
However, I have been observing.
I have been listening to those around me.
We have been praying and seeking God's face for His will for our family. This is how He has led us. I hope that if you are struggling with any of these issues you would seek the Lord's Will for you and that you would find it.
Just as we homeschool and know it is for us...I do not pretend to think that everyone should homeschool. I also know that not every Christian would be content
in a Family-Integrated Church.
Those who are called to this, though,
need to know that it is available to them.
That is my sole purpose in writing this post.
If you have been longing for something different,
it may be a God-placed longing in your life.
Seek. Pray. Act.