For quite a while my husband and I have felt that the Lord was leading us to someplace other than the church where we have been members for the last 9 years. There are many things we love about it–the people, the biblical preaching, etc., but we didn’t have the same view on discipling our children. They believe strongly in separating families; we wanted us to worship together as a family. We were one of only a few who brought our young children with us into the service (starting at age 3). At the end we had four of them with us in the service (ages 4-8), and put the baby and 2 yo in the nursery.
Through some interesting circumstances (could only be God!) we found out about a fairly new family-integrated home-discipleship church which meets in a home close to us. We have now been going there for a few months and really feel at home! If you’ve never heard of "family-integrated" or "home-discipleship", here is a bit of an explanation.
The following is a passage from the back of Henry Reyenga’s book "The Spontaneous Spread of Home-Discipleship Christianity" which explains more about the mission of our church:
"Imagine a church where there is no Sunday School or children’s church, where families are charged with providing spiritual instruction and remain together during the service to celebrate and reinforce all that is learned throughout the week in the home.
A home-discipleship church does not ask people to sit back and be entertained, but rather asks fathers and mothers to step forward in leading their homes in discipleship practices. The church creates an environment in which each man, woman, and child is able to develop his or her own talking-and-listening relationship with the living God and share that walk within the family, with like-minded friends and neighbors, with the church as a whole, with the broader kingdom of God, and with the world that so desperately needs to hear of Jesus.
Through daily Bible reading and prayer, Scripture memorization, singing, hospitality, and unity in purpose as a church body, home discipleship supports a Christianity that is active, alive, and truly attractive to those who are seeking after God. Precisely because it asks something of participants, challenging them to embrace the rigors of an ancient, godly lifestyle rather than being coddled in comfort and ease, home-discipleship Christianity is quickly spreading."
This is a great post…about getting back to the way the 1st century church was…many people are looking are looking to do the same, they just don't know how.