The Lansing church believes it is time to bring the church home. Rather than asking families to involve themselves in what the church is about, we are committed to involving ourselves in what families are about. This home-centered, church-supported model of ministry goes beyond mere programs. It involves a new way of thinking about and doing ministry. I’d like to share some of the highlights with you.
A Family-friendly Schedule
A family-based church is built from the ground up. Even the most basic decisions that a church makes have profound impact on families. The church schedule is no exception. Rather than overburden our families with meetings and time commitments, we have scheduled two nights a week for church meetings. On Monday nights we hold all our committee meetings. Wednesday night is reserved for Pathfinders, Adventurers, and other classes and family events. On all other nights the church is closed. We encourage families to choose one night a week for a family fun night.
“From generation to generation we will recount your praise” (Ps. 79:13, NIV). This text calls the church to intergenerational worship. The Lansing church believes that worship is for everyone, young and old alike. A family-friendly service involves more than just a children’s story. It is the creation of an experience that allows the entire congregation to worship together. This experience is created in many different ways. Here’s a short list to get you thinking in that direction.
- Music for all age groups and music preferences
- Object lessons
- Hands-on activities
- Multisensory experiences
- The use of digital media
- Church family nights
Let me explain how we hold church family nights during the school year. Wednesday nights are a special time for the whole family to be at church.
- On the first and third Wednesdays, our Pathfinders and Adventurers meet. We also provide specialized classes on various family topics for the parents.
- On the second and fourth Wednesdays, the church plans an activity, worship event, or service project that involves the whole church family.
Lansing church members demonstrate their belief that the church body should function as a family of families. We have endeavored to create this atmosphere by providing opportunities for the church to have fun together. During the Hope for the Homeland series, we had a different social function each Saturday night after the meeting.
We are also in the process of developing a mentoring program that will strengthen the connection between individuals and families as well as support those who have special needs.
Evangelism is for the people across the street and for the children across the hall in the home, the school, and the church building. Young people are a church’s greatest mission field. Every other year our church conducts an evangelistic event for young people and their families.
In January of 2002 we held our first child evangelistic series, giving parents the opportunity to lead their children to Jesus. Twelve young people were baptized as a result.
In the fall of 2003 we held a service-based evangelistic event for our families. One father shared, “This is the first time I’ve been able to interact with my family in this way. I don’t want it to end.” Another parent who had led her daughter to Jesus the night before exclaimed, “I never thought I would have such a privilege! Thank you for teaching me how to share Jesus with my daughter.” It doesn’t have to end if parents take church home.
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists