What is a family-integrated church?
A family-integrated church is a church in which parents and children attend church services together, children stay throughout the entire church service without attending Sunday school or children’s ministries, and separate groups and activities for children and youth are normally nonexistent. Simply put, it is a church where everyone worships together (father, mother, son, daughter, youth, and elderly).
Is it biblical?
Yes. It is the most biblical model you will find. Search the scriptures yourself. You will never find any command to separate children from their parents or to segregate the congregation based upon age group. When Paul addressed the church at Ephesus he spoke directly to the children and the fathers at the same time: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1; Ephesians 6:4)
Furthermore, Jesus instructed Peter to feed the sheep and the lambs (John 21). One instructor, Peter, was commanded to feed the young and the old.
How will my children learn?
Your children will learn by the instruction they receive at home and through the teaching provided by the pastors and teachers in the church. Always remember, it is your job to train your children (Proverbs 22:6).
Why should I attend a family-integrated church?
- It is the pattern for worship which God himself established. Instead of being surrounded primarily by other children, God’s way provides a multigenerational community of believers in which all ages minister to, and learn from, one another. True spiritual growth comes through the sharing of knowledge and wisdom across multiple age groups.
- You will be with your children. Worshiping together strengthens families. Satan desires to separate families. Weak families lead to weak churches.
- Your children will see you worshiping God and understand that worship is important in your life. Your children are more likely to worship God if they see you worshiping. Never underestimate the power your example has on your children. As they see you letting your light shine, they are more likely to embrace the worship of God themselves (Matthew 5:16).
- It is the safest model for your children. Whether we like to admit it or not, we have all heard stories of evil people preying on children, even in churches. God’s way provides additional protection for children from such wolves in sheep’s clothing.
We admit, family integration has it challenges. Children are going to make noise, they are going to wiggle, and they are going to test our patience. However, children are the future of the church. If you have never attended a family-integrated church, we welcome you to visit Vestavia PBC this Sunday.