Family Integrated Church

United Families Dividing Churches

Reprinted with permission from Faith Pulpit (Jan-Mar, 2012)

The Family Integrated Church Movement (FICM) is having a growing impact within fundamental Baptist churches. Since the mid-1990s an increasing number of families within fundamental churches have gravitated toward the family-integrated approach. In addition, families entrenched in the movement have been drawn to fundamental churches because of their emphasis on Biblical preaching and conservatism. At first glance the influence of the FICM might seem entirely beneficial for traditional churches, but unfortunately not all of the impact has been positive. The FICM mindset can divide churches. 

Understanding the FICM

The FICM is comprised of evangelical churches, pastors, and laymen who share a distinct philosophical approach toward the family and church. Advocates of family-integrated churches (FIC) believe that families should always worship and fellowship together in age-integrated (i.e., multigenerational) services and activities. Conversely they insist that virtually all age-segregated ministries and activities at church, such as Sunday School or youth ministries, are unequivocally unbiblical. Also, they often speak of the father as the conduit of spirtual growth in the family.

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Why Churches Should Have “Kid Times”

by Aaron Blumer

As a pastor, I’ve been surprised by how often I encounter Christian parents who are disappointed that our church provides “kid times.” Regularly, our church gathers children, separates them from their families, and focuses on their needs. Many see this practice as unbiblical and bad for the family. Are they right?

children_cross.jpgFull Disclosure

I’m prejudiced against this way of thinking. My parents successfully reared all four children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord with the aid of churches that provided kid times, as did their parents before them. Both my mother and my grandmother turned to Christ and believed the gospel during Sunday school.

The idea that ministries like Sunday school, children’s church, and youth groups are recent inventions spawned by the godless thinking of anti-Christian philosophers finds a strongly skeptical audience in some of us. And the idea that these kid times are causing more young people to leave the faith is contrary to everything we’ve personally observed.

But the charge that these methods are unbiblical is the most serious one. Is there any basis in Scripture for separating children from their parents and siblings and teaching them? Should these kid times be a feature of our local church ministries?

Scripture provides at least four reasons for including kid times in the ministry of a local church.

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