Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Family Fellowship

Our church is a little different than other churches. I know, I know. Most of you are saying "Duh!". But I don't just mean in dress and appearance. The general structure is different too. We have 5 ministers.Not a minister of music, a minster of education, etc. We actually have 5 ministers that take turns preaching. Also, our ministers are not paid. That's right! They don't want money (or the worry of it) to get in the way of their preaching. They want to be able to preach whatever the Lord lays on their heart and not have to worry about if that will effect their paycheck. (Not saying all paid ministers do worry about that kind of thing!)

But, what I am thankful for today is that our church is what is called a family integrated church. A what? A family integrated church is a church where the children stay right with you the whole service. There is no children's church or baby daycare. This was a little hard to adjust to at first but I have seen the MAJOR blessing of this type of model. I appreciate the way our ministers handle it as well. The other Sunday in a service there were several babies fussing (more than normal) and he stopped, smiled and said "We normally don't have this many babies crying at the same time. Children, we are SO thankful you are here!" another example is when they are preaching they will explain things to the children. "Now, children, famine means...." ect. The children learn at an early age to sit through a service, oh, and by the way, our services are 3 hours long! I am so thankful to have my children sit with me and learn with me. Sometimes I don't think the children are paying attention but then when we get home Lilly will ask, "Mommy? What did he mean when he said...?"and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to discuss God's Word.

I also think it develops a sense of family worship. Everyone doesn't go their separate ways when we get to the church steps. We sit as a family, and worship, learn, praise, and pray together! It is a blessing for which I am very thankful!

Thanks for reading!
~A

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8 comments:

Lacey said...

I love you blog and have been visiting it for a while and decided to comment! I love our family staying together for the entire worship service. My church home in Manhattan follows this model and it is amazing. My husband plays the drums and with three little ones sometimes and extra hand is needed and the elder mothers of the church have always come to me on these occasions and held a baby or entertained a toddler. God Bless you!

Marie said...

I think it's important for any pastor (paid or otherwise) to speak the truth, regardless of what people think. I'm hoping one of these days I can get out there to visit your church with you. I'm definitely intrigued!

niKnox said...

Our church follows this model as well - "family integrated" with no childcare. We get very similar comments from some of our attendees. On the downside - sometimes people don't come b/c there isn't childcare of some sort! Impossible to please everyone! Love that you have five rotating ministers - that is quite a blessing.

Paprika said...

I love the family-integrated-ness as well! I think growing up in a diverse group of people is really important for kids.

Erica said...

dAmanda. Thanks for the post. I love family oriented services. We came to Wichita to be a part of a church here but didn't feel comfortable with it because they didn't allow kids in the service. So we go someplace else. It's amazing what kids learn just being a part of worship. I love our house church overseas and one of the major reasons why is that the kids aren't afraid to ask questions or answer questions. What a neat way to grow up. Thankful that you guys have such a great community around you.

jenifriend said...

i love the idea of a family-oriented service. our church has childcare, but i know through conversation with the htb that we won't be sending our children off to be cared for by someone else. hopefully our church will be open-minded to the notion!!

michele said...

i am impressed that your kids sit through a three hour service. i'm embarrassed to admit that i would struggle with that myself. i do like the idea of everyone being together. :)

TheMama said...

I just found your blog. I love it! We have a daycare at my church. My church is way tiny. Only about 12 members or so. I often find myself in the little daycare with my son, because I feel embarrassed when he wants to wander around and fuss. I know no one minds him. I just go back there anyway, because I feel like I may be taking away from someone's experience. If that makes any sense. The five minister's sound very interesting, and different. I would like to experience something like that someday.