Sunday, January 21, 2007

What does a Family Integrated Church look like to me-PT-4

So far in my working through “What a family integrated church looks like” I have started with what I feel is important in any church. First there is the leadership in having Biblical elders and Deacons. Then I touched on the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever and their importance to the church. Lastly I remarked on at least three important ministries of the church. I am sure there are more than three but these were more general ministries that could involve many other aspects of church life.

Before I go on I wanted to mention why I am going through this process. First, is that by thinking more about these things and writing on them they become clearer to me. This is a process I would encourage anyone to do even if writing is not your “thing”. There is something about writing, no matter how imperfect it may be, that makes you think through things much more than simply mulling them over in your mind.

Second, I began sending out resumes regarding pastoring fulltime almost 4 years ago and have heard relatively nothing at all. So, in the past months I have more and more felt (there is that elusive feeling thing) that maybe the direction God is guiding me is to start a church. To be honest starting a church was the farthest thing from my mind only a year ago but things change. I started to realize that as I went through the process of defining how I saw church functioning I was more and more shrinking the possibilities of being called to an existing church. Most churches are either entrenched in how they do ministry and only want a leader who is similarly entrenched or the church is ever morphing to look like what the latest fad says will increase their numbers. Neither of these options seems too inviting. So, again as I began to write on my thoughts on church and began to see how I felt God wants His, and it is His, church to look like I began to realize that I may be heading in a different direction than I would previously have thought of.

The third reason which follows on the second is that this would be a place to send others who wanted to know what I thought about church, especially one that I would be part of the start of.

The forth reason (there may be others I have not thought about) I was writing on the church was in hope to give food for thought to those who read this blog. This forth reason in truth resulted from what I see as a total disregard for the function of the church. It has moved from a gathering of the “saints” to simply a gathering of whomever can be convinced to come, usually using what ever means seemed necessary.

So there you have my reason for wring on the church. I hope in the next weeks to look at more specifics of a multigenerational church. I fully understand the struggles this can be in the culture we have but we cannot let the culture dictate how the church functions. This does not mean the church simply ignores culture it just means that we have to be very careful that the culture is not what dictates things.

In an attempt to reach a dying world the church has become like it instead of being the oasis it is called to be. We think we are doing what is best for the hurting but in simply telling people they are OK and catering to their needs we are furthering the various issues that are faced. I was reading somewhere were it was said that the family is not like it used to be and thus ministry needs to be different. Well it may be true that the family is not as it was or should be but if we simply ignore what the family is called to be it will never be restored to God’s design. We for sure need to understand the times but we need to understand them in a way that is designed to help them be what God desires in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Next, how does a multigenerational church function, to me?

Previous Posts in this series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

2 comments:

Perry McCall said...

Tony,
I just got caught up on your series about being a FIC. I agree with you about the benefits of writing your thoughts out when you are trying to develop your positions. Bo has written a three part report on his visit to Grace Family Baptist Church and his Church's initial changes in order to integrate this model into their context.

Tony said...

Perry:

I am looking forward to reading Bo's report from GFBC as well as how he implements change to an multigenerational model. I may actually being going out there myself later in February to get some first hand insight as I look further into starting a church.