“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” –Psalm 133:1
Legacy Baptist Church treasures the time our children have with the ‘grown-ups’. We take the training of children very seriously, and we have high expectations of them. They are the next generation of believers if the Lord tarries His coming. Their attendance and participation is welcome and encouraged in all of our gatherings. By God’s grace, and for God’s glory, the children of Legacy Baptist will watch and learn from mature believers how to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28) and “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually” (Hebrews 13:15).
Our entire congregation meets together for the services so that the parents, other adults, and the pastor have greater opportunity to be more directly involved in the passing on of Scriptural truths to the children. Not only might they lead by example during the services, but also by better reinforcing throughout the week those truths learned together in the church gatherings. The connection between the strength of families and the strength of the church cannot be denied.
We do not have Children’s Church for the children to attend while the grown-ups worship. We do not intend to suggest that there may not be an allowance for churches to have separate classes and programs, but we have grown to appreciate the vast benefits of a less divided and more unified approach. We are patient enough to accommodate some wiggles and noises that may accompany young children, for we relish the opportunity to exemplify the responsibilities of church and the ways of worship. The abundance of Scripture relating to children, their instruction, and their frequent inclusion in assembled gatherings has led us to our preference.
In short, an age-integrated (family-integrated or non age-segregated) church is where all attendees regularly have church together as one body (similar to the “Little House on the Prairie” church). The teaching, preaching, thanksgiving, and prayer services will typically include all individuals. Because this model of church will not have Children’s Church or age-specific Sunday School classes, people may jump to the following conclusions…all of which will not be true with Legacy Baptist Church:
1. Those who come without families will be excluded. NOT TRUE!
2. Age-integrated churches never do anything for children. NOT TRUE!
3. Children who come without parents will not be welcome. NOT TRUE!
4. Age-integrated churches are something new. NOT TRUE!
5. All age-integrated churches are united in doctrine and family-integrated philosophy. NOT TRUE!
In fact, on the whole, it is the typical age-segregated ministries that are relatively new! While most of us have been born into the modern norm of youth groups and classes for every age, the idea has really only become prominent late in the historical record.
Our differing and preferred approach to church gatherings has a variety of Biblically principled reasons, but also a wealth of verses that exemplify the norms of having young people participating together with families, adult groups, and nations in various spiritual exercises and pursuits. Please read through the list of verses and further reasonings on the supporting page as you give consideration as to why we favor a ‘whole church body’ integrated approach to our gatherings.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” –1 Corinthians 12:12