Family Integrated Church Introduction

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"A family without a commitment to the God of the Bible has no hope of stemming the tide of cultural onslaught. If we mix a little biblical truth, a little secular psychology, a little romance novel ideology, and a little eastern mysticism, we will get a deadly mixture of lies. Unfortunately, this is exactly what many Christian families do." - Voddie Baucham ("Family Driven Faith" pg. 33.)
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What does it mean to Be “Family-Integrated”?
The Mission Of The National Center For Family Integrated Churches
1. We hold firmly to the sufficiency of scripture for church and family life
2. We promote the centrality of the church in God’s plan for families and singles
3. We seek to recover the biblical doctrines of manhood and womanhood in church, family and civil life
4. We seek to identify the marks of worldliness in church and family in the current culture
5. We desire to explain the complimentary roles of church and family
6. We communicate the biblical doctrines of the church and family
7. We seek to restore the biblical pattern of age integrated worship, discipleship and evangelism

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The Scriptures..
In the assembly…
Deuteronomy 31:12-13 – Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
Ezra 10:1 – While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.
Joel 2:15-16 -Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants…
Ephesians 6:1- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (read to Children in the Assembly)

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What About History?
According to history, FIC is not a new thing… it is a re-establishment of how things were before… the church did not segregate for 1800 years. What happened? The idea of segregation was traced back as early as Plato in 400 BC and like-minded philosophers. But it was the enlightenment thinking … Rene Descartes, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Bacon, Leibniz, Pascal and Hobbs… Later , Jean Rousseau – who actually despised kids, would influence the industrial revolution – which consequently influenced segregation. Additional effects on our country and England came from Charles Darwin who influenced ideas such as Heckles recapitulation theory, which influenced Stanley Hall, who set up the same framework for human development. These concepts would, as a result, influence the method of learning in our public school systems. Eventually, the methods would be widely accepted by society and eventually, the church. Not only do we have no real scripture as a basis for age segregation, but we also find that for 1800 years the church did not separate by age in church services

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But, It’s Not Broke.
The statement made regarding Youth Groups and Children’s Ministries…“It’s not broke”. It isn’t? A recent survey suggests that between 75-85% of our young Christians are turning away from Christianity after their first year of college. Many will assert that they eventually will come back. This cannot, however, be our continued course in hopes that there will be a return in the event that many do not return. There must be a change. According to a recent survey by the American Research Group 95 percent of 20 – 29 years old evangelical Christians attended church regularly during their elementary school and middle school years. However, only 55 percent of those young evangelical Christians still attended church regularly during high school, and only 11 percent of them were still regularly attending church when they went to college. Pragmatically speaking, (*note - this isn’t usually a defining factor for CBC, for we are committed to be driven the Scriptures and not Pragmatism) the current method of discipleship is failing if we are being honest with ourselves. Central Baptist Church has chosen to counter the current issues regarding youth ministry; committed deeply to the sufficiency of scripture as our foundation.

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Words from John Piper - From The Family: Together in God’s Presence
“God-centered worship is supremely important in the life of our church. We approach the Sunday morning worship hour with great seriousness and earnestness and expectancy. We try to banish all that is flippant or trivial or chatty.
Stumbling block…The greatest stumbling block for children in worship is that their parents do not cherish the hour. Children can feel the difference between duty and delight. Therefore, the first and most important job of a parent is to fall in love with the worship of God. You can’t impart what you don’t possess.

Togetherness...Worshiping together counters the contemporary fragmentation of families. Hectic American life leaves little time for significant togetherness. It is hard to overestimate the good influence of families doing valuable things together week in and week out, year in and year out.

Catch the Spirit...Parents have the responsibility to teach their children by their own example the meaning and value of worship. Therefore, parents should want their children with them in worship so the children can catch the spirit and form of their parents’ worship.
Children should see how Mom and Dad bow their heads in earnest prayer during the prelude and other non-directed times. They should see how Mom and Dad sing praise to God with joy in their faces, and how they listen hungrily to His Word. They should catch the spirit of their parents meeting the living God.
Something seems wrong when parents want to take their children in the formative years and put them with other children and other adults to form their attitude and behavior in worship. Parents should be jealous to model for their children the tremendous value they put on reverence in the presence of Almighty God.

Not an excessive expectation…Children can be taught in the first five years of life to obey their father and mother when they say, “Sit still and be quiet.” Parents’ helplessness to control their children should not be solved by alternative services but by a renewal of discipline in the home..

Not all over their heads..Children absorb a tremendous amount that is of value….
Music and words become familiar. The message of the music starts to sink in. The form of the service comes to feel natural. The choir makes a special impression with a kind of music the children may hear at no other time. Even if most of the sermon goes over their heads, experience shows that children hear and remember remarkable things.
The content of the prayers and songs and sermon gives parents unparalleled opportunities to teach their children the great truths of our faith. If parents would only learn to query their children after the service and then explain things, the children’s capacity to participate would soar….
Sunday worship service is not useless to children just because much of it goes over their heads. They can and will grow into this new language faster than we think—if positive and happy attitudes are fostered by the parents.”

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Sermon by Pastor Shane concerning FIC at Central Baptist Church