Family Integration church is designed to remove unnecessary age-divisions from the worship service. At The Baptist Church at Andover, children attend the corporate worship gatherings with their parents rather than attending a separate children’s ministry/church. We do, however, have a nursery available should the parents desire to utilize it.
We believe the responsibility for disciple-making within the family unit rests on the parents, and specifically, the fathers. As a result, we feel church is an extension of the family.
This is not to say we do not have Sunday School classes for children (we do), nor does this suggest we do not have mid-week gatherings for the children (we do). Rather, we desire to see families together during the preaching of God’s Word.
This model has been incredibly effective within our church. The children are singing next to their parents, praying alongside their parents, opening their Bibles with their parents, and watching/participating in, the Lord’s Supper. What a blessing!
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Deuteronomy 31:12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law
Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”