Our purpose is to promote the family integrated church model. It is not perfect by no means, however, we believe that it is valuable and biblical. In today’s secular driven churches to attract as many people without deep spiritual truth, we have found the FIC model effective, not perfect.

We believe that families are looking for a church that upholds Bible teaching and preaching not shallow and seeker driven sermons. We believe the home is a place for discipling children and should provide parents with the instruction and resources to do so. Home is where godly character is developed. This is not to say that all non family integrated churches are wrong because they are not. People are getting saved in many of these churches. We don’t have the perfect model, we just believe in promoting this model.

This web site is dedicated to doing that. We want to help you and your family seek out or even start a church in your area. May God bless you in your effort to serve and know Him more.

We are updating and reformatting the website, as I am sure you have noticed. The new site will be up in a few days, well maybe a week or so. My purpose for the new site is pursue a deep desire for the Word of God. It will be interactive with regualar contributors who seek to expose the truth of the scriptures. I will address Bible issues, questions and the search for Bible answers will be the norm. It will sharpen all of us. Its an exciting venture.

We are all creatures of habit. We form traditional things in our lives that we cling to such as family reunions, nights out with our spouse of family vacations. Even our own personal lives are filled with traditions. For instance, I like to get up early during the week for personal quiet time. Websters definition of tradition is “the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction“. We had a tradition in our family of cooking out and shooting off fireworks at my grandmothers house with family and friends on the fourth of July while growing up in Texas. It was just something we did without question.

There is nothing wrong with tradition as long as it does not hinder the work of God. This is where the line of personal preference and the scripture come into conflict. In Matthew 15:1-7 the scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus wanting to know why the disciples did not follow the tradition of the elders by washing their hands. It was a loaded question. Jesus replied in vs. 3 “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition“? What was thier tradition? Basically they were getting around the commandment of God by not honoring thier parents after they were adults. One commentator notes, “The Jewish people of Jesus’ day had a way to get around the command to honor your father and mother. If they declared that all their possessions or savings were a gift of God, specially dedicated to Him, they could then say that their resources were unavailable to help his parents“. You see their tradition had made the commandment of God ineffective. Thus it should be scraped.

The question arises as to why churches continue to function ineffectivley today when the traditions they hold to are causing the Word of God to become ineffective. Matthew 15:1-7 detail what much of the modern day church looks like today. Just a symbol of religion on the street as you pass by. Their programs are geared towards secular thought, their preaching is comfort seeking and phycological mush and those who dare speak against it are ‘old fashion’ and behind the times.

What will get you in hot water in today’s modern day church is questioning the establishment of tradition. I am not against tradition as long as it does not hinder the Word of God. Let me elaborate.

I have mentioned before that many of the modern day youth programs are carnal and led by young men or women who are trying to ‘fit in’ with the youth group. Statistics have proven that many of our youth in today’s church youth groups are not being saved. They make professions, but their life outside the church is influenced by the world. In other words, the programs and activities are external and nothing is being changed on the inside. Not all youth programs are failing but a vast majority of them are. There are people getting saved, but if your church has one that is not working and it is a burden to you try to get rid of it. Your true friends will come out at this point.

As a pastor I made the suggestion to the leaders of the church that we consider a parent led youth group. In other words, let’s be responsible for teaching our children life skills, and spiritual development as we go along each and everyday. It went over like a led balloon. Our youth ministry was not working, it had not deep spiritual challenges but it was a tradition and no matter how much of a failing grade it was getting, it was staying.Today, three unwed teenage girls are pregnant from that youth group.

In Baptist churches we operate under the dome of autonomy. I believe in elder led churches as is patterned by the New Testament. The plurality of elders is benificial in teaching the Word of God. In most Baptist churches you have the pastor who is trying to lead the congregation. When he feels the need to do something God has laid upon his heart he must first get all the deacons together and share it with them. If he gets it through them, a committee is usually formed. Once the committee is formed it brings the idea up to the church as a whole i.e. all the members. If they all like it then it is voted upon and finally God’s work is done once approved. How bogus!

I made the suggestion that decision be made through the spiritual leadership of the church without the process of time consuming committees, votes, etc.. Guess what? No dice here. I proposed that we find scripture that deemed it necessary to vote on things. Couldn’t find one. I asked if the majority was always right and got cold stares. When Pilate asked the crowd if they wanted a murderer or the Savior to be set free, which did they chose?

You see, I want to be right. Not for prideful reasons but I want to know what the scriptures say and follow them. If we are holding to traditions established by men that is hindering the Word of God we should be removing them from practice. This was the message behind what Jesus was saying. The scribes and Pharisees were casting the speck out of the disciples eyes while having a beam in their own. Many people will fight you on traditions, yet will keep doing them knowing they don’t work.

I desire the pure worship of God’s Word. I don’t knock all the traditions that we have but we must keep in mind that traditions can hinder the Word of God. When Jesus concluded the statement to the scribes and Pharisees it sums up the state of much of today’s church, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men“. I want to teach the Word of God not my traditions!

Shouldn’t every believer who sits in the church pews on Sunday expect the truth to be unfolded through the pastor or teacher? Should we expect the Word of God to conform to what we believe? Many ministries today are gearing their ‘ministry’ towards the feeling of the lost and ways to make the comfortable. While this is obvious to many of us and we stray from such ministries there are countless numbers of churches that are dying because they refuse to allow the truth of the scriptures to take hold in their life.

As a teacher of the Word of God I consistently remind myself that I will believe what the Word of God says not what I want it so say. There is a great difference in believing what the scriptures portray and what we want to believe. In other words, I want to believe that all will be saved but the scriptures tell us otherwise (Matthew 7:13). I want to believe that all TV preachers are true but I know that there are false teachers and prophets (2 Peter 2:1). In the same context I also want to believe that no unsaved men will ever take to the pulpit, but I know that seminaries are producing doubters of the Word of God each year.

Why is it that when a pastor comes to a church (either small or large) that the minute he starts to change some traditional models he is rebuked and often kicked out? This is why many are starting churches in their homes is because the tradition is so deep rooted that pulling up on the roots will destroy the whole house. Even if there is clear biblical evidence to undue the tradition or policy in that church, many will refuse and view the pastor as one trying to change things. I know, I’ve been there.

As a pastor/teacher continues to exhort the scriptures he is often met with opposition as it begins to uproot tradition. Jesus had a conversation with scribes and Pharisees about tradition. They were concerned with why the disciples did not wash their hands when they ate bread. Jesus answered them by saying “Why do you also transgress the commandments of God by YOUR tradition”? (Matthew 15:1-9). You see men are likely to make tradition something they see as absolute truth when it is not. Tradition can be useful, but it can also hinder. In Acts 4:2 we see the results of tradition being violated by the apostles, “Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead”. The religious leaders were grieved because the apostles were preaching this gospel. Why? It was not in line with their tradition of educated men who were the only ones able to ‘teach’ the Word of God. Often times churches are looking for a pastor that fits their idea of qualified. All they really need to do is look at the scriptures (I Timothy 3, Titus 1) to understand the biblical qualifications. Many churches run ads and list a whole list of things not in scripture. That may be what they want but what they may need is a man fresh from the seminary of the scripture not of men.

So why is truth so hard to handle? Why were the religious leaders so against the apostles teaching the gospel of Christ? Why today are so many churches dying? Maybe because they are grieved that someone is teaching the truth, is it possible? Consider some of these thoughts. Why are we relying upon Christian life books to teach Sunday school? Why not have teachers who just open the scriptures and exhort the text? Why do we give books to be taught that make reference to passages but are generally the commentary of the writers? I’m not against commentary or Christian life books but when they replace the Word of God I am. Make that suggestion to your Sunday school director and see how fast he or she is grieved. I am so tired of preachers using movies and books to preach their ‘sermons’. I would like to hear a pastor open up to a book of the Bible and verse by verse go through it on Sunday mornings. No, not some fancy posters and gimmicks just the Word of God exhorted. Better yet, inform your youth minister and congregation that you are removing all youth programs from the church’s activities. Explain to them that you want to teach the parents to be more involved in teaching the Word of God to their children by turning off the computer and ipods at home for family Bible study. If the request to remove the Sunday school books didn’t get your fired this one will.

Most parents assume it is the church’s job to ‘train’ your teens in spiritual things. Why then are 85% of youth not attending church after they go to college? Why is it that three teenage girls are pregnant at church with an active youth program? By the way, two admit getting pregnant at a youth conference. Some of the most carnal influences I have seen are from church youth groups. I know this does not fly well, as my dad used to say, “that goes over like a lead balloon”. But is it the truth? Why is it so hard to handle? Why can’t men allow God’s man to lead?

After having the privledge of being a bi-vocational pastor for eleven years and stepping down from the traditional pastorate to start a home church, we visited many local churches. Many were genuine but what I found lacking was biblical exhortation of the Word of God. It is no wonder we are in the shape were in. Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD”. Boy I’m starving.

Currently our church has met in homes for the first year of its life. We have not ‘advertised’ for our church, but by word of mouth. It is not that I am against putting our church name out there, in fact, that might be our next step. I am convinced that God will add to the church. There seems to be a greater movement towards meeting in homes because the lack of quality Bible teaching that exists. Now, that’s not to say that all house churches are right, some lack proper Biblical oversight.

When I tell people our church currently meets in homes, they don’t really view it as a ‘real’ church. In other words, they will invite me and our family to their church. For some reason if we don’t have a building then its not considered a real church. I don’t think this view is intentional because I used to see that way as well. Let’s look at some strengths of house churches.

  1. They are biblical – Romans 16:5 “Likewise [greet] the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ.” Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them“. This does not violate the fail not assemble yourselves together since belivers are assembling themselves for worship. It doesn’t matter where or the number that is involved.
  2. House churches are mission minded. Most house churches can send a majority of their offering to missions, ministries or to help needy families. Because there is no overhead the money they receive can be used in more practical areas. The average church spends about 1/4 of its money on buildings.
  3. Church buildings are expensive. You can’t hardly build much for under one million dollars. Matthew 29:19 gives us the command to tell others of Christ. Church buildings should not get in the way of that.

The challenge that exists for a house church is that most people are not aware of it. Often times the group does not ‘advertise’ as many other mainline churches do. Some elders/pastors have several house churches that meet if different homes. Some churches that have buildings now once started out in someones living room.

Some Christians today look at house churches as not legitimate. Some wonder what they believe because they don’t have a specific denominational name. Our beliefs are outlined in our ‘beliefs’ tab of our website.

House churches are not perfect and implying that all churches that meet in building are wrong. However, the practical reasoning behind a house church seems to be a good NT fit. The NT church in Acts is one we should use as a pattern for how we establish and grow today.

I am concerned at the state of our churches as a whole today. In fact, the church has become so carnal as a whole that it is hard to find sound biblical preaching or teaching anymore. House churches could be the next step for America if our religious freedom is lost. As we move more towards a socialist state (politically) our freedom to worship and proclaim Christ could be lost. I don’t know how quick it could happen, but at the current rate it could be within one generation.

My good friend and longtime mentor wrote a piece concerning the stewardship of believers. The modern day prosperity gospel crowd has it all wrong. The name it claim it theology they preach is not correct when aligned with the scriptures.

I want to share some of what my friend, Dr. Ford wrote. Look up the scriptures for yourself and study the Word of God.

The Christians first distribution is to the necessities of the saints, Romans 12:13.This is to be done cheerfully, 2Corinthians 9:7, and with simplicity (liberally), Romans 12:8, to the glory of God, 1Corinthians 10:31. Money is to be set aside on the first day of the week as God has prospered us, 1Corinthians 16:2. It is to be used to bring people to God through missions, schools, and churches, Luke 16:9-13. Faithfulness is required of stewards, and a whole body of teaching defines what true faithfulness is. The steward’s call to faithfulness is not conditioned by the size of his gifts, large or small, 1Corinthians 4:2; Luke 21:1-4.

In our second principal we have the statement about God “We believe in one triune God, creator of all that is, existing in the Godhead, in perfection, before and independent of His creation. He is entire goodness, benevolent, all wise, and infinite in His attributes” (Deut. 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians. 13:14; John 14:10, 26).
There is only one God and none other. Now that seems a bit narrow minded to a politically correct world, but it is the truth. The world wants a variety of choices to choose from. For the most part, almost all of your protestant churches hold to the fact that there is one God. I have yet to find that any mainline denominational church does not believe that. However, I wish to look at this statement in light of how we live our daily lives.
First, we must believe that God existed before there was an earth. I love Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning…” In other words, before there was a beginning there was God. It lays the foundation for everything we believe. The phrase “before and independent of His creation” affirms that He was before there was any creation whatsoever. This is hard for the human mind to understand, yet we must believe it in order to believe anything else in the scriptures. Don’t expect to have an answer to all that God is because our minds are finite. Believing God existed is just what we must accept.
Second, we believe that He is a “creator of all that is.” Back to Genesis 1:1 “…God created the heavens and the earth”. All that we now see was created by God, and not by chance or some space balls colliding with each other. Col. 1:16 “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him”. Doesn’t get much clearer than that. We see that God created everything we see including governments, thrones, i.e. kings, principalities and those powers granted to them. Those in power now God put there, although we may not understand why they are there. Nothing was created by chance nor does God allow powers and kings to take the helm unless He ordains them to.
Third, we believe He exists in “perfection”. In other words, there is no sin in His nature. He is perfect, making no mistakes at all in the past, present or future. God does not make any mistakes. In Genesis we find that some try to account the word “repented” with God changing His mind. Yet, the meaning does not confirm that He made a mistake, but His heart was grieved because of the wickedness of man. Being the all knowing, perfect God, He knows the future and thus nothing catches Him by surprise. Believing in His perfection assures us that all that happens is in His hands.
Fourth, we believe “He is entire goodness, benevolent, all wise and infinite in His attributes”. Attributes are “inherent characteristics” defined to a person. The attributes of God are unchangeable. His grace by which He sent His Son to die for our sins, His love by not destroying us after the fall, and His mercy which we observe everyday.
In conclusion, we believe that God has always been and always will be. Here is a brief summary of some of the attributes and nature of God: He is eternal, faithful, good and holy. He is immutable, impartial, incomprehensible, infinite, jealous, longsuffering, loving and merciful. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Finally, He is righteous, self-existent, self-sufficient, sovereign, transcendent, truthful and all wise. Simply put, we believe God is!

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