“We really had a great time in small group tonight” Brad (pseudonym) said recently.

We are experimenting with a family-oriented (all ages) group.  My initial impression: a lot of fun to play, sing, pray, and learn with the whole family.”

It may have been unintentional, but Brad nailed it by pointing out one of the drawbacks of the IC:  fragmenting worship and ministry by age, stage, and in some cases, gender.

When did  “church” split  into categories: children, youth, seniors, young families, singles, etc.?  Isn’t “church” the whole family, all ages and stages?

When a family gets split, it becomes weak.  Same thing with a “church” segregated by ages and stages.   Why?  Simple: the family isn’t experiencing God or growing together spiritually as a whole unit, but piecemeal.  In fragments.

One of the distinctives of simple church is that it’s all-inclusive: No buildings.  No budgets.  No big shots.  No age or gender separation.   No fragments.  We’re family.  Experiencing God and growing in grace together.

In response to Brad, Del chimed in, “I used to be part of a group like that.  It was inclusive.  The kids played with the adults had devotionals.  I miss that.”

Then why go back for what’s not there?