Posted by: reformbama | February 15, 2011

“They Almost Get It”

On Family Ministry Today website there was and article about different styles of family ministries, it was the first article that put the FIC model in a good light and did not use the standard straw man arguments against it. The name of the article “The Problem And Promise Of Family Ministry” . It gives a kind of history on how family ministries and such have come about. As good as the article was I came away with a what did they accomplish feeling. In my opinion it seemed like a newspaper filler piece. The last paragraph was good. I believe it states the overall problem in churches today in the first two sentences but however did not give a solution. It did describe, by accident I think, most FIC integrated churches. They believe that and teach that.

Here is that last paragraph:

Before you make plans to launch a family ministry in your church, a few words of warning about family ministry are in order-words that may seem to work against the success of this very journal! Our words of warning are simply these: Family ministry is not the answer; family ministry will not fixyour church’s problems; and, family ministry will not transform people’s lives.

He is right, sort of, it all depends on how it is handled.

The Gospel is what changes people-not programs or practices; not models or methods; but solely and only the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every local church should be concerned first about how the Gospel is portrayed, presented, and practiced in the congregation.

Here he is right. It is the GOSPEL that changes people! NOT PROGRAMS OR PRACTICES. That is what the FIC has done, gotten rid of programs and it teaches the GOSPEL.

This includes considering how local congregations teach on the subjects of marriage and parenting and how they encourage and minister to families. Healthy families are not, however, the goal.

Healthy families are not the goal but the result of teaching the Gospel and helping families understand headship of the church and family.

To place anything as the church’s goal besides the glory of God experienced through the Gospel is to create an idol, and the idol of family ministry is no less loathsome to God than the orgiastic shrines of Canaan or the pantheon of ancient Rome. The believing household is a target for the enemy, but Christian families are not the answer to humanity’s problems. The Gospel is the answer. Our households are not targeted because Christian families are flawless families. Our households are targeted because they are God-ordained contexts where cross-centered, Gospel-empowered living can be constantly rehearsed and practiced. Through these day-by-day rehearsals of the Gospel, children and parents alike are trained in the fear of God.

The FIC if being done right does not make family the idols. God is the center of the family. FIC church does not just happen on Wednesday nights and on Sunday. It’s a 24/7 365 way of life. I wished I had found out about the FIC years ago before my children were in their late teens. It is hard playing catchup. So I post all the things I do on FIC to help those who still have young children at home.

One other thing if they think Family Ministry is not the answer, they may want to change the name of their site.

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Responses

  1. i love your encouragement here and a continued circling back to the transformative power of the gospel! great post!

  2. Hello reformbama,

    You wrote something I have not witnessed in my research: “That is what the FIC has done, gotten rid of programs and it teaches the GOSPEL.”

    This may be true for some but certainly not all. Many FIC churches I have found on the NCFIC church list are generic Evangelical and a few are cults. And the NCFIC does not make the Gospel an explicit prerequisite for membership.

    For a more balanced view please consider What is a Family Integrated Church?
    http://www.weswhite.net/2011/04/family-integrated-mathis/

    sincerely,


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