Probing Children in Spiritual Matters


You must always probe a child at the level or slightly above the level where the child is at, to stretch him a little bit. Don’t probe him by asking him questions that are way above his level. But the Q&A method is the best probing technique, but the Q&A must be asked in a lot of love. The child must not feel put on the spot, intimidated, threatened; ideally, there’s good eye contact between the father and the child. There’s a warm expression on his face.


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Please Pray for the Family Conference in Alabama

Tonight and Saturday, I will be in Montgomery, AL to speak to a local group on marriage. Tom Ford of Grace Baptist Church in Montgomery are organizing this conference. Here is how you can pray: 

Pray for our submission, humility, boldness, and love as we are going there to extol and defend the biblical view of marriage by explaining it from the Word of God. 

First, we will go to Scripture to learn the language of marriage from the one who created it. One of the most remarkable statements about marriage comes from Genesis: “the two shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Marriage is about oneness. It is an earthly picture of what it means to know God. 

Second, I want to speak of marriage in such a way to deliver us from a self made marriage. A self made marriage is a marriage made in your own image. It is an inwardly focused, narcissistic marriage.  It is “marriage for our sake” kind of marriage. I pray that I will be able to explain the foundational matters. 

Third, that marriage is a representative relationship. It represents something – the Gospel – Christ’s love for the Church. 

Fourth, that marriage is a declarative relationship. Marriage was made to say something. Marriages are always speaking some kind of message. The question is: Is the message of that marriage a message of love, forgiveness, mercy, and devotion? Does it trumpet the superiority of Christ? 

Ultimately, I want to say: You defend marriage by loving Christ and becoming like Christ and His holy Church in your marriage.

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Is There a Regulative Principle of Worship?

Is There a Regulative Principle of Worship from NCFIC on Vimeo.

I love the general session the subject, “The Regulative Principle of Worship in the Confessions of Faith.” But I think I’m most passionate about the first one, “Is there a Regulative Principle?”, because I believe the regulative principle, historically understood means that God regulates worship in a way that is different than He regulates the rest of life. There are those out there in our day, even in Reformed circles who are asserting that actually the regulative principle applies to all of life the same. To which I respond: “If the regulative principle applies to everything, it applies to nothing.”

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NCFIC Declaration: Article II – Christ is the Head of the Church

We affirm that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of His church, having purchased it with His own blood, and that He rules His church by His Holy Spirit through His Word in order to make known the manifold wisdom of God and to bring glory to Himself (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 28:18-20; John 17:17; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:19-23; 3:10; 4:15; 5:23; Col. 1:18).

We deny/reject all man-made inventions and rules that disregard the Word of God, exalt man, and usurp the Lord Jesus Christ’s headship of His church.


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What is a Family-Integrated Church?

Here is how Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas explains it:

Family Integrated Churches come in all shapes, sizes and varieties.  There are FICs in virtually every denominational and theological tradition, and in most sections of the country.  While no two FICs are exactly alike, they do have certain distinctives in common.

Families Worship Together

If you’ve ever walked into a FIC during a worship service, perhaps the first thing that struck you was the fact that there were so many babies and small children in the service.  We have grown accustomed to the presence of children in the service, and the children grow accustomed to being a part of the worship experience.  No one will stop you at the door if you try to enter our service with your toddler.

No Systematic Age Segregation

One of the biggest distinctions of a FIC is the absence of age-graded ministries.  We do not have segregated youth ministry, or children’s ministry.  First, these ministries are not part of the biblical church model.  The Bible is clear on whose job it is to disciple children… parents.  Second, these ministries can work against the biblical mode.  Parents who are relieved of their discipleship duties tend to become dependent on those who have taken over the job.  And, as Dr. Alvin Reid has noticed, “The largest rise of youth professionals in history has been accompanied by a decline in youth evangelism effectiveness.”

Evangelism/Discipleship Through Homes

We teach parents to evangelize and disciple their children and their neighbors.  We emphasize the ministry of hospitality, family worship, catechism, and family discipleship.  Thus, instead of placing the burden on paid professionals to “do the work of the ministry,” we equip the saints to do it.

Education as a Key Component of Discipleship

Jesus said, “A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).  Whoever educates a child is discipling that child.  We work hard to help parents see the importance of Christian education, and to help them make biblical choices as it relates to this part of their children’s discipleship.

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Are Fathers Priests?

Here is an excellent article by R.C. Sproul Jr. that unravels confusion regarding a church and family matter. Mixing up roles and responsibilities in these two great institutions God has provided – the church and the family – can lead to misapplying Scripture. R.C. shows how a good and right concept can be harmful if it is misunderstood and misapplied. He begins the article with this summary,

Are husbands/fathers called to be priests in their homes? Yes and no. If we mean by “priest” one who intercedes for others, beseeching the blessing of God, of course fathers should be priests in their homes. We’re called to pray for our families, to storm the very throne room of heaven on behalf of those whom He has placed under our care. I can’t begin to imagine how anyone could have an objection to this.

Follow this link to read to rest of the article, “Ask R.C.: Are Fathers Priests?

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“The Playbook” – A New Book from Carlton McLeod

Here are the opening words from Carlton McLeod’s new book,The Playbook: Five Strategic Plays to Restore the Prophetic Voice of the Church in America:

What in the world happened to the church?  Where is her clarion call for righteousness?  Where is her authority?  Where is her courage to speak boldly into the critical issues of our day?  Where is her faith that the Word of God will not return empty? 

 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to thesower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isa 55:10–11)

I submit, dear reader, that the church has lost her prophetic voice.

We are at the point now where we can hardly discern the impact of righteousness on the nation.  As I write, over 53 million babies have been aborted in the United States of America since 1973.  States are enthusiastically voting for gay “marriage” as easily as viewers vote for their favorite American Idol.  Humanism and her first cousin, Paganism, seem to reign supreme.  Government schools indoctrinate over 90 percent of American children to embrace perversity, evolution, ungodly sexuality, and immodest dress.  Television and radio are as raunchy as ever, and even Christian music and entertainment seem to have this love affair with the world. 

Consider this: There are about 300,000 churches in America; 300,000 army outposts for Christ, the King and Ruler of the universe; 300,000 groups of elders who are boldly declaring God’s Words, right?  How in the world can 300,000 churches in a country of 30 million be doing this badly?  Has God abandoned us?  I don’t think He has.  Perhaps, we have abandoned Him. 

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A Review of the Inerrancy Summit


Our work over the years at the NCFIC has been focused on proclaiming the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life, and what a joy it’s been to be able to do that.

Last week, I was able to be at the inerrancy summit that John MacArthur put on at the Master’s Seminary. What a fantastic conference! I highly recommend every message. I saw something in the conference brochure that really capsulized everything that we desire to communicate: “Every word inspired – Every Word Preached.” 

This really is the whole matter of the preaching of the sufficiency of Scripture for church and family life – to find churches that are totally dedicated to every word of Scripture, faithfully proclaiming it with all of their hearts for God-Centered, Gospel-Preaching, Family-Integrated Churches.

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NCFIC Declaration: Article I – Scripture is Sufficient

We affirm that our all-wise God has revealed Himself and His will in a completed revelation—the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments—which is fully adequate in both content and clarity for everything pertaining to life (salvation) and godliness (sanctification), including the ordering of the church and the family (Deut. 30:11-14; 1 Cor. 11:1-12; 14:34; Gal. 1:8-9; Eph. 5:22-6:4; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-4).

We deny/reject that God’s Word is inadequate for church and family life and that we need to adopt the traditions of men from philosophy, psychology, pragmatism, entertainment, corporate business models, or modern marketing techniques.

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Seven Objectives of the NCFIC

Here are the seven objectives of the NCFIC:

  1. 1.  Preserve and spread the true gospel from one generation to the next, through biblically-ordered, gospel-preaching, Christ-exalting churches and families.

  2. Rely upon the Scriptures alone for “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), obeying the Bible as fully sufficient for the ordering of the church and the family and resisting Satan’s deception designed to supplant God’s goals and methods with the world’s methods.

  3. Focus churches and families on the Word of God by restoring the practice of teaching the whole counsel of God through exegetical preaching of Scripture in the church by biblically qualified elders and daily instruction in homes by fathers and mothers.

  4. Establish the central importance of the local church for the equipping of individuals and families.

  5. Revive the biblically defined role and functionality of fathers who diligently teach their children when they “ sittest in thine house,” when they “walkest by the way,” when they “liest down” and when they “risest up.” (Deut. 6:7).

  6. Recover the relationally rich nature of the local church as the family of God by following the biblical patterns for worship, discipleship, and hospitality.

  7. Plant biblically sound churches that will likewise plant churches, which perpetuate faithfulness to the Word of God in matters of church and family life.

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Family Conference – Montgomery, Alabama

We are excited to announce that Grace Baptist Church will be hosting the 2nd Annual Family Conference in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday evening March 27th and all day Saturday, March 28th!

Conference Location:

Young Meadows Presbyterian Church off of Vaughn Road. Find directions here.

Conference Fee and Registration:

The conference price is $10.00 per person (max $50.00 per family). Make check payable to Grace Baptist Church and mail it to 6400 Wynwood Place, Montgomery, AL 36117 or bring it with you.


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The Power of Early Mentors – Part 2

My time with John Tebay during the early years of my life reminded me of three principles of mentorship:

1. Youth is a strategic window of opportunity

I believe that God has designed the teens and early twenties as formational periods that both older and younger men and women should recognize. The older should avail themselves to the opportunity and the young should seize the opportunity. Youth is a season of inquiry and desire for significance. It is particularly formational. I believe that these years have significant and disproportionate leverage for the future.

2. Don’t miss the strategic window

It is a common trap for older men to be caught up in their busyness, and the younger men to be entrapped by unprofitable activities, while there is an enormous opportunity for the older to teach the younger. This is the way God designed it – he provides the older for the younger.  If you are one of those older ones, look around to see whom the Lord may have for you to invest in. Pray for the young. Gravitate toward them. Conversely, if you are younger, look for the best mentors near you in your church and seek them out. Don’t miss the window.

3. Mentors won’t hunt you down

Experienced men understand the principle of intrinsic motivation. They know that only those with an internal desire for mentorship will be profitable investments. They have most likely tried to mentor the unwilling and realized how unprofitable it is. This is why most young men won’t have an older wiser man come to him and say, “let me mentor you.” They understand that wisdom is for those who seek it. Gold does not strike you, you strike gold. This might sound cold but if you don’t have a mentor, it’s probably your own fault. You’ve not sought them out with sufficient internal passion and motivation.

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The Power of Early Mentors – Part 1

It is hard to overestimate the effect early mentors can have on our lives. They catch us at a formative moment. Their impact can be enormous.

I had the pleasure recently to visit John and Grace Tebay, my pastor and his wife in California who played such a pivotal role in the early years of my Christian life. He was the pastor of Calvary Church in Placentia, California for forty-five years.

He was (and is) a disciple maker. She was (and is) a wonderful mother and pastors wife. She also played the piano for our worship in the church, and when I sing those songs today I often remember her and the blessing she was to the church and to my soul.

As we were together again last week, it occurred to me that, in God’s providence, most of the things that I am devoted to today were first planted in me during those early days when we were together at Calvary Church. Here is a list:

Sovereignty of God

Love for the church

Centrality of the local church


Expository preaching

Personal discipleship

Relational churches


Age Integration among the generations

Jonathan Edwards

Authority in the church

Authority and submission in the home

Biblical Eldership

Child discipline


Here is a more lengthy article about that season in my life and John Tebay’s role.

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The Fruit of Many Men’s Labors

The NCFIC is the fruit of many men’s labors-past and present. As the Lord has provided, we have added more staff for the churches and families listed on our web site. Pictured here are our Wake Forest staff and our Regional Facilitators scattered around the nation. Pictured left to right are: Scott Brown, David Brown, Colton Neifert, Connor Stearns, Stephen Hopkins, Mike Cox, Tom Ford, Mike Cheney, Jason Dohm, Kirk Smith, and Tony Lepore.

Click here to be taken to our regional facilitators page.

Click here to be taken to our NCFIC staff page.

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Going Beyond the Five Points – Pre-Order for a Big Discount

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