On the Ground to Serve You: the NCFIC Team

Join Us Saturday Night in Cincinnati for the Mysterious Islands Premier

Live Blogging During the Conference

Beat the Crush at the Registration Line

Please register early! Due to the large amount of people attending the Conference, the registration lines may be extremely backed up. Suggestion: plan on registering a couple hours early. We are concerned that some might miss the first session if everyone comes at the last minute.

We will open registration at 12 noon on Thursday. It would be very helpful if you would register between 12:00 and 2:30 if you are able. We understand you may not be able.

Continue Reading »

Spanish Language Translation at the SOS Conference

All messages given in the main ballroom at the SOS conference will have a live Spanish translator. We will be using a transmitter that will allow the translator to speak into a microphone and transmit the message. Individuals needing Spanish translation will need headphones with special receivers that can pick up the signal. We have a limited number of headsets available so you will need to email us right away if you need this. Please email David Brown at dbrown@ncfic.org.

Continue Reading »

Ken Ham Invites you to the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference

Ken Ham has just posted an invitation to the SOS Conference on his blog. He says,

“I will be joining Doug Phillips, Voddie Baucham, Paul Washer, and others for a seminar on the Word of God and how it applies to the local church and home life—all designed to uphold our belief that Scripture alone provides the right answers to our modern-day challenges in both home and church life.”

Click HERE to register for the SOS Conference.

Continue Reading »

New Books!

We are excited to announce that Scott Brown is releasing three new books. All books will be available at the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference.

Preparing Boys for Battle

This is a handbook for dads to help them train their sons for battle.
In this book you will find lessons for manhood that arise from the WWII battle for Iwo Jima with its fighter planes, amphibious assaults, foxholes, cave warfare, and flamethrowers.
It contains seventeen critical exhortations that I believe fathers must deliver to their sons. Why? To discipline them to be the mighty warriors God intends them to be. These were the things I told my own son David as he was growing up.
This is a book about leading boys to be truly great boys—and someday, men. It uses a personal, modern example (the example of my father and some other men I’ve met) to illustrate what God has already said in Scripture.

Moment of Courage

On Iwo Jima, boys became men in the crucible of pain, suffering and enormous sacrifice. They jumped on grenades and ran into unrelenting firepower to save their comrades. They ran and crawled and groveled in the dirt to do their duty. We need boys like that today. I hope this book can help a few of them understand the sacrifices of heroism.

This is a handbook for manly courage. It displays the stories and language of the heroism of our boys during the battle for Iwo Jima. Boys need stories with real men who went before them to show them what courage looks like. Iwo Jima was a factory for courage. Her Medal of Honor recipients prove it. Their stories are contained in this book.

It Can Be Done

These are poems for hardship, sacrifice and dominion. They will make you smile, square your jaw, lighten your load, heighten your step, and grow rebar in your spine. They will lift you up, make you soar, and give you a view of the smallness of your problems. They will help you think bigger, feel better, laugh harder, and eat your problems for breakfast.

Continue Reading »

SOS Conference Audio is now available for pre-order!

If you are not able attend, the conference audio will be available in the form of a 35-disc CD set, or on two mp3 discs. It will be available for order at the conference for $145. Click HERE to pre-order the audio set now. Audio ships 1-2 weeks after the conference.

Continue Reading »

The Church is a “Family of Families” — Part 3

 

By saying, ‘the church is a family of families,” are we confusing the church and the family?

When Andreas Kostenberger used the phrase “family of families” to describe the church in his excellent book God, Marriage and Family,1 I doubt anyone accused him of trying to redefine the church. And rightly so, because he was simply pointing out the significance of a particularly important family relationship (marriage) that exists in the church for God’s strategic purposes for spiritual warfare and the proclamation of the gospel. In this sense, the family exists as an entity under the headship of Christ and so the church exists in the same way. The family and the church are separate, yet connected in carrying out Christ’s overall plan.

We have plainly stated that the family is not the church and the church is not the family; they are separate yet complimentary jurisdictions.

Some have connected the statement, “family of families” with concepts of covenantal family and church membership. Some have suggested that we confuse the regenerate and the unregenerate in the church and make them the same because they are part of a family. We have never done this. We do not believe that every family member is a member of the true church. On the contrary, we maintain that the true church is composed only of individual redeemed sinners.

We acknowledge that many family members, though they are under the care of their parents and come to the meetings of the church, remain unconverted. They are part of the church only in that they come to meetings of the church, listen to the preaching of the church, relate to the redeemed members of the church and participate in the discipleship experiences of the church. Children may attend church but not be part of the church as converted members of Christ. Yet, they are still in the church in the sense that they have been sovereignly placed among the people of God. They are blessed by its members, message and ministry. This is all we mean when we say the church is a “family of families.” We don’t mean that all family members are converted and part of the redeemed. Voddie Baucham stated it this way, “We Are Not Commenting On Membership in the Church.”2 Like Baucham, we did not mean that every family member is a part of the universal church in the sense that they are all converted members.

1 “Just as Christ must rule over all heavenly powers (Eph. 1:21-22) and over the church (4:15), he must also rule over the marital relationship (5:21-33), the family (6:1-4), and the workplace (6:5-9). A married couple is part of the church (understood as a family of families, cf. I Tim. 3:15), and it, too, is part of that spiritual warfare that resolutely resists evil (Eph. 6:10-14) and seeks to promote God’s purpose in this world (foremost the preaching of the gospel, 6:15. 19-20). Thus the marriage relationship should also be viewed in the context of Christian witness in an unbelieving environment, both directly by the husband’s and the wife’s living out God’s purposes for the Christian couple, and indirectly by being part of a Biblical church that actively propagates the gospel message.” (Kostenberger, Andreas, God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation, [Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, ©2004], p. 72).

2 Baucham, Voddie, “Is the Church a Family of Families?”, Part 1, can be accessed at http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2009/3/26_Is_the_church_A_Family_of_Families.html (Accessed 11/9/2009)

Continue Reading »

Pastor Bryan Pollock, of Pilgrim Bible Church, breathed his last yesterday. He was a faithful, bible saturated, gospel preaching, and happiness promoting pastor, who held up the light of God’s word in his community. One Sunday morning last year, I had the joyful privilege of sitting under his preaching where my soul was fed, comforted, and confronted. Johnathan Langford, one of the NCFIC interns, who came from Pilgrim Bible, had this to say:

“I loved Pastor Pollock. He was faithful in preaching and honoring God. I have always seen him as a strong man, though he was not tall or broad shouldered, yet he was a mighty man of God that I looked up to. He wielded the Sword. He was a true pastor to his flock and truly loved the church. I went to him frequently. It was pastor Pollock who sowed seeds that later bore fruit in my conversion.”

Here is a snapshot of life at Pilgrim Bible from their web site,

“At Pilgrim Bible Church, we believe that true, Christ-exalting worship should involve a loss of and a death to one’s self as the worshiper becomes caught up in the majesty and magnificence of God, and it should engage the whole man as he becomes “lost in wonder, love and praise!” At Pilgrim Bible Church such Christ-centered and Christ-exalting worship is our goal. We believe that necessitates a careful and systematic expounding of the Scriptures each Sunday coupled with the singing of hymns and some choruses that are both doctrinally rich and lyrically beautiful. We believe the church should both sing as well hear and ponder its theology! We also believe a family should worship together. At Pilgrim Bible Church, we believe that fathers serve as their family’s worship leaders and that they should be taught by the church how to prepare their family for the Lord’s Day so that worship can be, in some fashion, a meaningful experience for all.”

Please pray for Bryan’s wife Susan and their nine children.

Continue Reading »

The New “Hipness” of Age Integration

It is possible that we are entering into a period where it is “hip” to be age integrated. Even Christianity Today has reported this phenomena–see their recent article, “Is the Era of Age Segregation Over? A researcher argues that the future of youth ministry will require bringing the generations together.1 There is a significant groundswell of church leaders who are implementing initiatives and programs that hearken to the principle of age integrated discipleship. Now, perhaps, age-integration is going to be the new “latest thing.” This is both good news and bad news. On the one hand we clap. On the other hand we are nonplussed. We clap, because age integration is biblical. We are nonplussed because the motivation is often for pragmatic reasons. The church needs to stop thinking, “how can we be hip,” or “how can we discover the next new thing, ” or “how do we find the best way to reach the world.” This is the kind of thinking that has gotten the church in so much trouble today. Instead we ought to be asking, “how can we be more Biblical – regardless of the culture and the consequences.” The family integrated church movement is not a reaction to a cultural problem, it is an action based on Scripture. It is not the next new thing. It is the best old thing. It is both best and old because it came from God not man.

 


1www.christianitytoday.com/le/communitylife/discipleship/istheeraofagesegmentationover.html

Continue Reading »

“Family of Families” in the News

Three words, “family of families” are often lifted bleeding and screaming from their context from our original Biblical Confession for Uniting Church and Family1. They have received lots of airtime in various discussion venues. A Reformed Baptist Blog2 has focused several lengthy posts on this subject. A couple of associations of churches have made similar claims, and personal blogs3 have also made commentary on the statement. But what did we mean? Our four part series on the phrase “family of families” is designed to put the statement in context and to answer some of the questions that have been raised by it. Part 1 gives a brief history of the statement. Part 2 clarifies what we meant by the statement. Part 3 answers one of the accusations that has been made. Part 4 gives some insight on what we have learned from this experience.

 


1 The original confession can be accessed at www.visionforumministries.org/home/about/a_biblical_confession_for_unit_1.apx However, several years ago, the NCFIC updated its confession to remove the phrase “family of families” and replace it with different words which more clearly convey our meaning

2 The Reformed Baptist Fellowship Blog has posted a five part series of articles entitled “The Family Integrated Church. They can be accessed at www.reformedbaptistfellowship.wordpress.com/2009/10/

3 Shepherd’s Pie Blog, “What should we think of the family integrated church movement?” www.grbc.net/blog/2009/09/16/what-should-we-think-of-the-family-integrated-church-movement/
Reformed Baptist Blog, “Reformed Baptists Address the Family-Integrated Church Movement” www.reformedbaptist.blogspot.com/2009/10/reformed-baptists-address-family.html

Continue Reading »

The Church is a “Family of Families” — Part 2

What we mean by “the church is a family of families”

 

It is a falsehood to say that the National Center for Family Integrated Churches advocates a “family of families” ecclesiology. In fact, our understanding of the nature of the church is consistent with the historic doctrinal statements of the faith including the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and many other orthodox statements on the church. It is the same understanding I received as a young man when I was in seminary. We do not advocate a “family of families” ecclesiology. Rather, our ecclesiology is as rich and clear as the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Westminster confession.

When we were writing the NCFIC Confession for Uniting Church and Family our intent was to explain the complementary roles of church and family. We wanted to reflect a biblical understanding of the way that church and family operate in a symbiotic manner. We also hoped it would help church leaders think more biblically about church and family life. In short, the “confession” tries to state the biblical case for the ways the church can be a blessing to the family and the family to the church. It also identifies various departures from biblical church and family life and calls for biblical clarity on these matters.

 

An excellent phrase when understood properly

 

What we mean when we say that “the church is a family of families” is that the family needs to be acknowledged in church life. We meant it the same way that Swindoll and Baucham did. We believe that it rightly raises the warning that in the modern church, family life often disappears and is swallowed up in institutional church life. We wanted to say that it was wrong to treat the family in this manner. At the same time we wanted to affirm that both are important and they need to be preserved. Therefore, it is improper to understand this statement as a redefinition of the nature of the church. Voddie Baucham explains, “When we use the term ‘family of families’ we are not addressing the nature of the church. Let me say that again V-E-R-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y… THE TERM FAMILY OF FAMILIES IS NOT A COMMENT ON THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH!”1

Baucham makes the point that his statement only comments on matters of church structure. He says,

 

“The difference between the FIC and the neo-traditional church is not a matter of the nature, but the structure of the church. In fact, we argue that our model is much more in keeping with the proper theological understanding of the nature of the church, which would explain why age integration was the model for the New Testament church for nearly 2,000 years before the neo-traditional, age segregated transformation turned the church into isolated segments as opposed to a single, unified body.Thus, those who divide the church into artificial, culturally-defined cliques (children, students, college/career, young marrieds, old marrieds, senior adults, etc.) are the ones who have a difficult time fitting their model into the understanding both Lawrence and I share.”2

The phrase, ‘family of families” was never meant to be a comprehensive ecclesiological statement; it only served to demonstrate that the church is not exclusively composed of individuals, by acknowledging that there is a second biblical authority and jurisdiction in the church when a family comes to church. We wanted to clarify an important matter that church leaders are charged, not only to equip individuals, but also family members. They come to church as fathers and mothers and children and they need help to function biblically in their relationships in their homes.


1Baucham, Voddie, “Is The Church a Family of Families?”, Part 1, can be accessed at www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2009/3/26_Is_the_church_A_Family_of_Families.html (Accessed 11/05/2009)

2Ibid. (Accessed 11/05/2009)

Continue Reading »

How Can a Church Build Strong Families?

Here is the bottom line: You cannot minister to the weak families unless you have strong families. Strong families are dependent upon obedient men and holy women. If we never have healthy families, then we will never have healthy churches.

The following six things are biblically mandated elements of church and family life. Each one can help to foster healthy family life, and ultimately strong churches.

 

1. Provide biblically qualified elders

When a church establishes biblically qualified elders who manage their households well (1 Timothy 3), they are providing for long term social change. As these men lead by example, the whole church begins to understand how a biblically ordered family functions.

 

2. Encourage biblical headship in the home

How do you define a broken family? It starts with the role of the head of the house. Families are broken by men and women who do not fulfill their God ordained roles. If the church ever hopes to minister to broken families, it must start by going back to scripture to find how men should be spiritual leaders in their homes. We need to be about the business of equipping men for biblical manhood.

Who will minister to the lost youth of this generation? Families and churches must reach out to preach the gospel and teach all that Christ commanded.

 

3. Stop creating weak families through your programs

We believe that the modern church has missed the mark by doing things that keep families weak. The church has not maintained biblical priorities for family life. When we do this, we end up withholding adequate role models or worse, we have no good role models for our weak families. If you want to build strong families you have to stop creating weak families by maintaining unbiblical, family weakening practices. Until this changes in a church, families will remain weak and broken.

 

4. Make the church a true family

You must give broken families a biblical church family that exemplifies Christ’s love for the church. It is in a healthy church family that people with broken families learn something they did not know before – how to be a family (Mark 10:30).

 

5. Provide for the lifestyle of Titus 2 women in the church

Titus 2 gives a picture of women in strong families ministering to young families. When you promote Titus 2 women who will instruct the younger women you have provided a key component to church and family life that generates strong women and strong families. If you do not encourage women to be holy keepers at home you will never be able to have strong families. This is a culture defying act but it must be done because it is a key component to biblical Christianity.

 

6. Provide intergenerational worship and education

Families are strengthened by participation in biblical discipleship methodology that is intergenerational. This is the only pattern that we find in Scripture. There is no such thing as age specific ministry in the Bible. It needs to be admitted that putting thirteen year olds with thirteen year olds is a very foolish and unscriptural practice. Until churches change this and similar practices, the vicious cycle of decline will continue.

Two critical issues need to be addressed. First, refusing to give priority to making strong families in our churches ensures that we will always be calling people to weakness.

Second, neglecting the biblical directives for family life rejects the major biblical methods for ministry to youth.

Our failure to obey the word of God in ministry to youth is of enormous significance for the prosperity of the church. At this time, as we continue many unbiblical practices, we are systematically sending our young people on the path of destruction. It is fracturing our families. It is corrupting our churches. It is destroying the next generation.

If we ever expect to see change, it is important to stop doing the things that make for weak families and start practicing the things that strengthen them.

Continue Reading »

Leader’s Luncheon at the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference

Please accept our invitation to a time of fellowship and encouragement just before the SOS conference begins. Paul Washer, Doug Phillips, Scott Brown and other church elders will share helpful insights on the life of a church leader. All manner of church leaders and aspiring church leaders are welcome.

The work of a church leader is often an intense form of spiritual warfare. It can include a life of rejection, betrayal, attack, loneliness, ostracism, misunderstanding and pressure on the family.

On the other hand, it does include investment in the precious Bride of Christ. Church ministry can also include blessed friendships and expressions of kindness and mercy that anyone is allowed to experience.

We will have three hours together, beginning with a very nicely appointed lunch at the hotel.

Click here to visit our SOS Leader’s Luncheon page where you can find our more information or register for this event.

Continue Reading »

Page 132 of 142« First...102030...130131132133134...140...Last »