Family Integrated Church
What is a Family Integrated church?
Family Integrated Churches come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. There are FICs in virtually every denominational and theological tradition, and in most sections of the country. While no two FICs are exactly alike, they do have certain distinctives in common.
Families Worship Together
If you’ve ever walked into a FIC during a worship service, perhaps the first thing that struck you was the fact that there were babies and small children in the service. No one will stop you at the door if you try to enter our service with your toddler. We believe strongly that the benefits of families worshiping together far outweigh the minor inconveniences or distractions that sometimes occur. If a child needs to leave there is a nursery/play room available or if parents prefer to stand and rock their babies in the back you are welcome to that as well.
No Systematic Age Segregation
We do not have segregated youth ministry, or children’s ministry. First, these ministries are not part of the biblical church model. The Bible is clear on whose job it is to disciple children… parents. Second, these ministries can work against the biblical mode. Parents who are relieved of their discipleship duties tend to become dependent on those who have taken over the job. Worshiping together as a family brings a much deeper closeness. All family members will hear the same thing together and parents will be in a better position to explain, ask questions and provide practical applications. It also helps parents understand areas in which the child needs instruction.
It Accelerates Skill Development:
This is an opportunity to teach your children some valuable skills that will accelerate their maturity. There are several things that they will have the opportunity to learn in the process: How to listen for life changing truth in a lecture setting. How to take notes and share about what was learned. How to honor the speaker by:
- Sitting still
- Keeping eye contact with the speaker
- Honoring the other listeners by refraining from disruptive and selfish behavior like whispering, wandering around the room, squirming and whining.
It accelerates maturity.
With parents helping children in the above areas, maturity is accelerated. There are many development oriented experiences that could be mentioned. Honoring the preaching of God’s Word and participating personally in its life changing message. Early exposure to advanced vocabulary. Early exposure to advanced theological concepts. Allowing children to interact and watch a variety of ages in particular more mature people, they quickly emulate what they see. Early maturity and enhanced love is the result. Most people would not name these as results of the modern age graded Sunday school.
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.