After years of doing traditional Sunday school, we felt led to have Family Integrated Church (FIC). FIC come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. There are a small number of FIC’s in different denominations in the United Kingdom. While no two FIC’s are exactly alike, they do have certain distinctives in common.
Families Worship Together
If you’ve ever walked into a FIC during a worship service, perhaps the first thing that struck you was the fact that there were so many babies and small children in the service. We have grown accustomed to the presence of children in the service, and the children grow accustomed to being a part of the worship experience even during the preaching and teaching.
No Systematic Age Segregation
One of the biggest distinctions of a FIC is the absence of age-graded ministries. We do not have segregated youth ministry, or children’s ministry. First, we believe that these ministries are not part of the biblical church model. The Bible is clear on whose job it is to disciple children, it is parents. Second, these ministries can work against the biblical mode. Parents who are relieved of their everyday discipleship duties tend to become dependent on those who have taken over the job, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders and so forth. We must be clear that although Spirit of Life Church is a family integrated church, we are not against other churches who minister through traditional Sunday school. We are not against Sunday school teachers or youth leaders because we see their effort to teach children the bible. However Family Integrated Church is the model that we have chosen at Spirit of Life Church.
Evangelism/Discipleship Through Homes
We teach parents to evangelise and disciple their children and their neighbours. We emphasise the ministry of hospitality, family worship, catechism, and family discipleship. Thus, instead of placing the burden on paid professionals to “do the work of the ministry,” we equip the saints to do it.
Education as a Key Component of Discipleship
Jesus said, “A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). Whoever educates a child is discipling that child. We work hard to help parents see the importance of Christian education, and to help them make biblical choices as it relates to this part of their children’s discipleship.