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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Jul 8, 2011.
What are your thoughts on the family integrated church? Good, bad or what?
Depends on what you mean by family integrated church. There is a vast array of those who call themselves a FIC.
Here is one's definition;
Voddie Baucham: The Family Integrated Church is a church that is intentionally designed without age-segregated structures. Family Integrated Church come in all shapes, sizes, all denominations. But the one distinguishing characteristic common in Family Integrated Churches is that lack of age-segregated structures, and therefore, an emphasis on discipleship in and through homes.
So the family, the home, becomes the mechanism for discipleship within the context of the local church — as opposed to the church that would say that the mechanism for discipleship in the church is various age-group ministries: For this part of your life you disciple here, for that part of your life you disciple there, for that part of.... The Family Integrated Church is the opposite of that in its structure.
I would say there are several different definitions. Here is what I have seen.
There are those who believe family integration means that the worship services should contain all the people. There should not be a segregation of ages or groups during the corporate worship service. They recognize discipleship begins through the homes but they do believe other times can have discipleship in an age segregated manner, some may have other non-corporate times where segregation may occur. One verse they use to sorta support this is that the older women should teach the younger. Thus, there is a sex/age segregation during the non-corporate worship times.
The second group is more in align of how Voddie defined family integrated churches.
Finally, there is a group who almost sees that people join and are a part of the church based upon family relationships, not as individuals. Thus, the fathers are not only the leaders at home, they are the leaders in the church and serve as the mediator between the church and family.
We've always sought churches where our whole family worships together, not send the kids and teens out.
That said, we also like age (and gender) divided Sunday Schools when we could find them.
But if we had to choose between the two we would take worshipping together.
Can you give some examples of the ones you mentioned? Also how about answering the OP?
The two couples that I have come into contact consisted of those who thought my wife and I were sinning because we sent our child to a public school. Both families acted as if Bauchman was the cat's meow. And, I really did enjoy listening to his preaching. But, no where was he able to prove to me or my wife that were were wrong according to God's word. I considered it to be a matter of personal conviction as opposed to a Biblical mandate. Secondly, they were very critical of a traditional church. And, if they wanted to do church the way they did it I could find no reason to say that they were wrong. What I didn't appreciate was how they loved to tell me how wrong I was. In both cases my wife and I ended the relationship. They were folks who were not interested in friendship and learning from each other.
Why can't we just assemble and worship the Lord as we did a few years back? I am ashamed of what is often called church to-day in many circles.
Glad to be at this end of life.
I do not know what you mean by "examples." I would hold to the first type of family integrated church. The "gathering" of the congregation consists of everyone, not a part of the church that meats separately from others. We should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Nor, as in I Corinthians, should we come separately in a corporate manner that excludes others inside the church. As well, we are to gather as on church and one congregation. However, I do believe that non-corporate times do exist thus Sunday School is appropriate. Titus is clear that there are times where we can instruct and segregate, but these are not the corporate time of worship.
I see people go back and forth on this....i do not think it is wise to have distractions when the word is being taught or preached..little ones who are to young to sit and learn should have a crying room with speakers in it,so as to not distract the ministry of the word.
Part of the idea of the family integrated church is to bring the family unit back to where it belongs and having each member take the place in the family structure as well as the church as they are intended to have especially the fathers who need to learn how to lead and instruct while spending quality time with the family unit.
In today's society one kid goes to band and another to football or some other sport while the father works overtime and the mother works outside the home and the family seldom or never has meals together much less have family time for bible teaching or just fellowship. So the intent of the family integrated church is good in my opinion. However when it goes so far as to make claims that everyone should home school and always be together like a chain gang I think it turns a good thing into a not so good as I am absolutely convince that some people should not try and home school unless they want to raise illiterates.
Voddie's church is close enough for me to visit although not attend regularly and I do like his preaching and his concept of the family, but I do not think that how it is being carried out in his church that it is wholesome as it tends to be more like a commune then a family worship and gathering.
I am all for FIC, totally, Except the church should have a crying room.