Church at our house

(this is Christian) Well today was fun. I don’t think we have talked on our blog yet about our new church situation. We have started meeting with another family on Sundays for a time of family worship instead of attending a church. Right now it is just us but we believe that God will grow it into more than can fit into a home. Today was the baby shower for Guenna at my mom and dad’s house here in Mt Vernon so we had church at our house instead of in Ferdale where we have been meeting. So yesterday and last night it was clean up time! People were coming over to worship in our house :) Needless to say we ran out of time and planned on finishing up this morning. As we were getting the kids fed I realized that it was now daylight savings. People would be here not in 1 hour and 20 minutes, but in 20 minutes. The rush was on and I was still vacuuming when they arrived :)

Today our other new friends joined us for the first time for worship since they were coming down for the baby shower at 2pm. It turned out great even though we are still working with the boys at being able to sit through church. We know that eventually they will, and wont remember a time when they were not part of “big people” church, they wont know any other way. It is challenging and humbling to get up with your three year old because they wont obey and are being defiant, right in front of God and everybody. It would be easier to send them off with someone else for the boring reading and study of God’s Word. We will keep you posted on how it continues.

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8 Responses to Church at our house

  1. Amy says:

    We do this too Jenni! It has been a huge huge blessing for our family and I pray it will be for yours too. It gets so much easier with the little ones. Always a challenge with the 18mo and under, but better! We dont expect perfection from the preschoolers, or much attention. They get books and trains and are told not to talk. IT helps to have a quiet and sit still training time during the week, as practice for sunday. The school aged children are expecting to take notes and sing songs.
    If your ever down south and need a place to fellowship, stop by!
    I love Guena’s diapers!

  2. Hrms. My sister tried this. They were quite convicted starting out, kids should be in the service with the adults, etc. They got in on the ground floor of a church that was geared toward the local university, with the idea of not needing Sunday School.

    The church folded finally (there were people within that were ready for it to before that which is why I say finally) within the last year and top of their list now is that they need a church with a good Sunday School program for kids. Particularly for their oldest daughter, who really needs to have more contact with kids her own age.

    NOT because they are embarassed to leave the church with their kids, but because they realized the kids got nothing out of sitting drawing during the church service while the adults were ministered to.

    I like the way our church balances the kids issue. There are services during the year when there is no nursery, Sunday School, etc so all are in the main service. (easter for one, coming up now) And Pastor Hutch never minds having kids in the service. (Which we have plenty) But there is Sunday school available for all ages, with the goal of training up warriors for Christ. Even at the Toddler age, though it is considered “nursery” it is not just babysitting, stories are told (during which the children are expected to sit quietly for an appropriate length of time), songs are sung that are at age level, etc.

  3. Roberta says:

    My friend calls that “Living your life outloud.” I think it’s great, and although it isn’t so easy while they’re little it’s so awesome to have a 9 yr. old who loves to listen to sermons on tape and refers to certain ones as “my favorite sermon”. We homechurched the first 3-4 months after moving here, and are now part of a small church of 8-10 families.

  4. Karen says:

    We should talk.

  5. Jana says:

    As you know, we worship this way too and have been for four years. Our kids are now 6, 5, 4 and 15 months so when we first started they were 2, 1 and 6 months old. We have trained them to be still as possible during the worship time. There are definitely challenges with that but it’s really neat how quickly they do get the idea and begin to settle down and even look forward to it. It’s amazing how much children do get out of our meetings! Of course we usually try to incorporate things into it that they will enjoy, but even when we don’t, they talk about what we studied during the week and they sure do understand and take in a lot! It’s really exciting.
    We always let them have books or little quiet toys to keep their hands occupied and even while they play with those they are still learning just by being there.
    What a blessing Family Integrated Fellowship is! We Love it!
    I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow1
    Rich is hoping that we can set up a time to get together as families again soon too.
    Blessings and hugs,
    OH yeah… did the baby shower go?

  6. Jenni says:

    Oh good Jana, I was just going to email you to see if we were still on :)

  7. ~ Erik ~ says:

    Continue on in this work and don’t let the naysayer’s get you down. I know people who claim to have “tried Jesus? or “tried Marriage? only to later reject Christ or get a divorce. In the same way just because someone failed doesn’t discredit this idea. It takes more then just conviction, human strength, or even a great idea. It takes the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and our motives are very important. We need to have our minds renewed about what we as families need for our spiritual development. Just taking a traditional model and dropping one item will most likely not work well. Get your ideas on paper as much as you can so you can give new people an idea of what this church will look like and operate. Assumptions are sooooo easy. A negative person will assume the worse and a positive person will assume the best. Both assumptions though may be wrong and lead to very disappointed people. Be Biblically minded and humble in all of your decision, not going to fast, but also not dragging your feet. I think one of the big dangers is being isolated too long in a perpetual church plant that never matures. Set some hard time lines to guard against this. Also stay plugged in with outside Christian leaders to help guide you and hold you accountable. We should talk some time.

  8. Hi,
    I ran across your Blog and I believe the integrated family church IS the church of tomorrow. My wife and I just moved to Franklin, TN to start a integrated family church. I’m a very visual preacher and weave illustrations that would hold kids attention (as well as adults) but give them the Word of God in a way the whole family can get something out of it. Keep up the work God will continue to Bless your ministry to your family and others.
    Pastor Bob Gerstenberger

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