Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are Family Integrated Churches Just Part of a Passing Fad?

by Scott Brown of NCFIC

It is possible that we are entering into a period where it is "hip" to be age integrated. Even Christianity Today has reported this phenomena: “Is the Era of Age Segmentation Over? A researcher argues that the future of youth ministry will require bringing the generations together." There is a significant groundswell of church leaders who are implementing initiatives and programs that hearken to the principle of age-integrated discipleship. Now, perhaps, age-integration is going to be the new "latest thing."
This is both good news and bad news. On the one hand we clap. On the other hand we are nonplussed. We clap, because age integration is biblical. We are nonplussed because the motivation is often for pragmatic reasons. The church needs to stop thinking, “How can we be hip?” or “How can we discover the next new thing?” or “How do we find the best way to reach the world?” This is the kind of thinking that has gotten the church into so much trouble today. Instead we ought to be asking, “How can we be more biblical – regardless of the culture and the consequences?”
The family-integrated church movement is not a reaction to a cultural problem. It is an action based on Scripture. It is not the next new thing. It is the best old thing. It is both best and old because it came from God not man.

1 comment:

The Stetson family said...

I was telling someone just a few weeks ago where we go to church and she asked me why we drive so far. So I told her how it is important to us to have our family with us in church. Her response was "I have heard of that, it is getting popular" My thoughts the rest of the day kept going back to those words. It took me awhile to figure out why it bothered me. Whenever something becomes "popular" in the church we humans seem to find a way to over complicated it. As mentioned in the article, this is the Biblical way to worship, as families. It isn't complicated. I am sure over the next years we will begin to see debates, articles and division over this issue. I hope more families will come to worship together and begin to see the dangers of "youth groups" and child segragation. But at the same time I hope this doesn't become another thing to divide his believers. I have already heard of cases where pastors made it very hard on families who chose to keep their children out of youth groups and Sunday school. I have also heard of families leaving churches because they were moving towards becoming "family integrated".