Being F.I.C. – Double Meaning

May 3, 2018
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Depending on where you live, what you’ve heard, and which people you follow, the acronym FIC means something to you. It is possible that this acronym is completely foreign to you, and that’s a good thing for this blog writer. For those who are unfamiliar, FIC means Family Integrated Church. It carries baggage in many circles. However, I’m here to suggest a new rendering.

Allow me to give some feedback first. I’m a director of kids ministry in a church that has the goal of seeing the local church resemble the future heavenly kingdom as told in Revelation 5 and 7.

Something I’ve noticed for several years up to the present is that most churches do not have a thriving derived idea of ministry as it pertains to the family. Far too often the focus is on singles and married couples, leaving these two without biblical resources to consider for the children. And in far too many church settings, the children are to be seen and celebrated in ‘little church’ while not being considered vital to the home nor church.

The perplexing points come when churches want to boost their philosophy of ministry that impacts children’s ministry with everything else. Perplexing because the language is rich and helpful and encouraging while the actions are the complete opposite.

So to argue for the FIC, I’m aiming for the church to integrate the reality of the family into the life of the church. The narrative of the gospel depends on the community of God’s people being faithful in their families. It literally touches everything. Their witness. Their impact. Their faithfulness. Their true sign of maturity and discipleship.

But there’s more…..

I’m also arguing for the FIC that stands for fully integrated church. From the recent launch of multi-ethnic churches that use various adjectives to describe their particular church, the desire to fully integrate is part of the DNA. And thank the Lord that it is. However, the disconnect shows itself in integrating both home and church, singles and marrieds, empty nesters and families with kids. Perhaps it is implied, but somehow it comes across as an afterthought instead of an intended goal. So if the church is to promote the unity and diversity of the body ethnically (as it should), how important it ought to be to do so familial-ly.

So that we could have a Titus 2 ministry as well as Deuteronomy 6 ministry as well as Psalm 78 ministry as well as Matthew 28 ministry, and so on. The local church ought not have to pick and choose between lifting up the multi-ethnic commands from the Bible alongside lifting up the families.

I would implore you readers to consider ways to pray for this new FIC implementation that Bible calls believers and church leaders to do.


A Believer’s Influence

March 24, 2017
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Ever considered that your presence and union (familial) carries with it a great influence? That believers have an ability to permeate things that are unholy? That the grace that’s given to you can also bless others?

Growing up in my late twenties, I encountered a few verses in Corinthians that really shook me. 1 Corinthians 7 is a chapter that talks much about marriage. A part of marriage involves both man and woman, husband and wife, as well as their children. In this passage Paul is laying out parameters for how the husband and wife are to relate to one another due to their spiritual state.

The spiritual presence of one believer is POWERFUL.

“For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

What’s amazing from these two verses is that Paul is saying if the unbeliever wants to stay married, regardless of the temperature and pattern of your marriage, you do not divorce. Why? Because the unbeliever has been ‘sanctified’ simply through a marital union with the believer. The unbeliever is blessed simply for being connected to the believer in the primary family. God has always been big on families, and Paul is showing us that God has not changed one bit.

Then Paul goes on to say that the children who would be unclean if the parents divorced are now in fact holy because of his or her familial connection to a believing parent. Does that not rattle your cage a bit?

The unbelieving spouse and child are now in a different spiritual category. Notice the terms: unbeliever to sanctified and unclean to holy. That’s all due to the believing spouse and parent.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around it all but I cannot deny what the text is saying. It is clear that families with at least one believing parent are able to bless the entire family unit. The unbelieving spouse is considered sanctified though unsaved. The unbelieving child is considered holy though unsaved.

Indeed, the spiritual presence of one believer is powerful according to Paul’s inspired text.

Family Feast

October 15, 2013
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“Lord, I pray this food be nourishment for our bodies.” This is what’s normally prayed before people dig in some food. It’s oft-repeated that now it’s the norm. May this sentiment be evermore true when the family comes together to feast.

A 17th century Baptist pastor from England, William Kiffin, had this to say about the family feast: “it’s a vehicle of spiritual nourishment.” ┬áThe family feast he spoke of was the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper taken by the Lord’s body. I deemed it ‘family feast’ simply because the body is made up of believers who are adopted into God’s family. So when the local church decides to observe the church ordinance, make no mistake about it, there’s a family feast to be had. Now the Kiffin quote can be best understood as the only feast that provides spiritual nourishment for the spiritual family.

Why is this family feast label helpful? I’m glad you asked. I’ve come to understand that many people develop their understanding of the Lord’s Supper based on how their parents view it. If your parents take it lightly, so will the listening ears of their kids. If your parents thought it warranted by Scripture to take communion at home, then most likely you’d see no problem with that. In relation to that, if your parents don’t deem it necessary to show up when the church gathers, then your kids will follow suit. And these are just mere off-the-cuff suggestions. I’m sure there a myriad of other opinions on the Lord’s Supper.

I’m also concerned that some parents, young adults, and teenagers who call themselves Christians have not developed a biblical and mature reason for seeing the importance of the Lord’s Supper to the family. So I write this hoping to make it clear both in my mind as well as yours by equipping us with a biblically mature, rock solid stance on this issue.

One thing that cannot be argued against is that the local church of Jesus Christ is indeed a part of the family of God. So when the family comes together to eat, while the bible refers to it as love feasts, I prefer calling it family feast to stress a few things. First, we’re spiritual family. Second, we come together to eat a spiritual meal. Third, we get vertical and horizontal benefits from partaking of this meal.

1 Corinthians 10 and 11 serve as our best places to read about the family feast, and be cautioned to not eat in vain.

So will this new view of a spiritual family eating a spiritual meal change how you think and approach the Lord’s Supper? I sure hope so

Should We Focus On The Family?

December 16, 2012

There’s been a lot going on in our world over throughout this year. It seems after most tragedies I hear a good number of people retort of the importance of the family. Men go love your wives and kids. Women go trust your husbands and kiss your kids. Children take heed to the advice of your parents. Overall, it seems like (only after public tragedies) people want to shift our attention to the family. So I ask you, should we focus on the family?

Well it depends on exactly what a person means by that question.

Even though I advocate a family integrated model of worship in our churches, I do not believe we should focus on the family. Here’s why: that doesn’t save anybody! Now let me unpack that pithy statement.

Death is unavoidable. God is sovereign. Satan is real. Evil is everywhere. Safety is important. Life is hard. Accidents do happen. Oh, and death is unavoidable. Understanding all of these to be true truth, we should approach this question much differently than those who don’t concede to these truths. No matter the issue that prompts people to focus on the family, turning one’s attention to their kids isn’t the answer. There was a shooting at a movie theater in Denver, shooting on the bus in DC, stabbing in China, and a whole host of other tragic events just like that. How should we respond? By telling our loved ones that we love them? Good idea, but not the answer. By hugging and kissing our loved ones? Good gesture, but not the answer.

So how then? Well if you’re a Christian parent, the only answer you have is the gospel. If you’re not a Christian parent, the only answer you have is the gospel, although you don’t believe that to be true. Some other things parents can do are teach their kids about safety in all facets and self-defense in all forms. But death is undefeated last time I checked, so let’s not act like we can ward off death. Death is unavoidable and imminent.

After we focus on the gospel of God about Jesus Christ, we’ll be led to the family of God (the Church) and our own family.

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