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Wednesday, April 9

What Does "Family-Integrated Church" Mean?



I recently started going to a new church that is Reformed Presbyterian. While talking to an elder there, I mentioned that I might visit the family-integrated church nearby.

"What does that mean- family integrated?"

For me, this is what "family integration" means:

It means that families should worship together instead of constantly dividing up for Sunday school and youth groups. The effect of youth group culture can be really dangerous. By pandering to each age group, and systematically splitting up the family for church gatherings, we undermine the God-given authority of parents. In practice, this means no youth group or Children's Church. Children worship corporately with their parents, and the role of parents as Spiritual leaders is affirmed by church leadership.

In many churches, sometimes including the one I was raised in, families wave goodbye to each other at the church doors! Each member of the family attends a different Sunday school class or 'Children's Church.' Along with youth group, the most dangerous of these rituals is the splitting of children from parents during corporate worship time.

Today's youth group/Children's Church culture is different than that of Bible Studies. At even the most well-meaning churches, youth groups focus on providing the coolest events for teens in an effort to 'attract' them to Christ.

By pandering to teens, we insult them and insult God. We seriously underestimate the God-given reason of youth when we doubt their ability to think beyond 'teen centered' activities.

Bowling, rock concerts, movie nights, lock-ins, and beach trips may attract teens, but are we attracting them to God? And if we are, will they stay with God?

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree! I have been to my cousin's high school youth group a couple of times when I stay at their house, and am just disgusted with the dark room, rap music, and the 'pastor' who is eighteen and acts eleven. I can't ever seem to find God in that place.

    Blessings,
    Reyna

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also go to a reformed pres church. I love family integrated church. my church does this for second service and all kids over 8!

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