Four Reasons To Join a Family-Integrated Church

Church Acadiana has a family-integrated approach to ministry.  This means that we keep the generations together rather than everyone going their separate ways.  We don't have children's Sunday school or youth group for the teenagers.  We include the kids in everything that we do.  We understand that this is a huge departure from the norm, so let me give you four reasons that you should join a family-integrated church.

First, the current model is not working.  According to Lifeway Research, most teenagers drop out of church after high school.  The American church just isn't doing a good job of reaching the next generation.  We are failing.  Think about how sad this is.  We say it is our mission to reach the world, but we're not even reaching our own kids.  If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keeping getting what you always got.  Something needs to change.

Second, the current model separates kids from mature adults.  Traditional churches take your kids away from you and put them in a room full of immature children.  Is that the best way to raise kids to maturity?  Doesn't bad company corrupt good character (1 Cor 15:33)?  Haven't you seen kids pick up negative habits from their church friends?  In the family-integrated church we keep families together.  We keep the generations together.  Your kids will sit right next to you.  They will watch the examples of of older Christians.  The will be pulled up by maturity, rather than down by immaturity.  You will have the opportunity to model the faith for your kids, and to observe their progress.  I've seen unruly kids who were uncontrollable in a typical Sunday school transition to a family-integrated church and become sweet little angels because they are sitting next to their parents in a room full of adults.  When you separate the kids from the adults, you are telling them that they are the church of tomorrow, and this enables them to rest in immaturity.  To delay serving God.  To delay taking their faith seriously.  But when you integrate children into everything you do, you communicate to them that they are the church of today, and they need to start serving God right now.    

Third, the current model prevents kids from connecting with the church-at-large.  One of the reasons kids leave the church after high school is that the youth group is a church within the church.  The teens aren't really connected to the church; the youth group is their church.  They haven't formed deep connections with people outside the youth group.  Thus, when they graduate high school, they also graduate from their church and become disconnected.  They don't feel at home in the church anymore.  They aren't kids, but they still aren't treated like full-fledged adults.  This makes it easier for them to drop out of church.  But with the family-integrated church, kids develop strong bonds with others kids and with adults in the church.  They never graduate from church.  They are an integral part of the church from the very beginning.

Fourth, the current model discourages parents from discipling their kids at home.  Why should parents disciple their kids at home if they are being discipled by the church?  Aren't they getting all they need from Sunday school and youth group?  No, they aren't.  But that's what happens in the typical church.  Parents assume that all they need to do is drop their kids off.  In the family-integrated church we don't disciple your kids for you.  Kids are discipled along with everyone else, but parents are encouraged and equipped to go home and disciple their kids all week long.  We believe that the most qualified people to disciple kids are parents.  The hard part is convincing parents to believe that too.

If you are interested in learning more about the family-integrated church, come visit us at Church Acadiana.


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