Children’s ministry at Westside will seem radically different from most churches.
We have gone back to the Bible to ask what God teaches about growing up and reaching our children for Christ. As a result we are becoming a “family integrated church.”
The Biblical Basis for Being a Family-Integrated Church
What is a Family-Integrated Church?
A family-integrated church is one where, more often than not, all children remain with their parents during church meetings. Such a church still creates times for parents to be away from their children, but only under unusual circumstances (for instance, to discuss delicate issues like sex). Such a church encourages those without young children to assist those with children during church meetings, so everyone is able to worship and learn.The Offical Divided the Movie : Young filmmaker, Philip Leclerc, notices that the youth of his generation are abandoning the faith. He sets out on a journey to discover the truth about modern youth ministry, with this question in mind: “Is it an issue with the church, the kids, the parents?”
The Bible gives no direct commands requiring children to stay in church meetings. However, it presents principles and examples which argue for a family-integrated approach.
Biblical texts on the family and child-rearing, especially the father’s role.
Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 11:18-19
Psalm 71:18; 78:1-8; 127; 128
Proverbs 1:8; 6:20
Titus 1:11; chapter 2 (no command for church leaders to minister to children)
Biblical texts that show children present in large group meetings.
Deuteronomy 29:10-11; 31:12; 32:46
2 Chronicles 20:13
Luke 2:46; 18:15-17
Acts 15:12, 22, 30; 20:9; 21:5
However, Scripture also shows that men meet separately for instruction as spiritual leaders.
The 12 apostles’ relationship to Christ during His earthly ministry
Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire with a select few men whom he mentored.
To find out more about churches returning to the Bible in this way, please check out the National Center for Family Integrated Churches at ncfic.org.