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Rev. Rich Melheim introduces the origin, philosophy and potential impact of five simple steps that can strengthen the church--one family at a time, one night at a time.
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There is a simple faith practice built into the core of every Faith Inkubators system, resource, curriculum and product. It is called the FAITH5, or Faith Acts In The Home.
The FAITH 5 connects church to home, faith to life, and parents to kids in a powerful way. The five steps of the FAITH5 are:
Step One: Share highs and lows. Name something good and bad you experienced today. Can't think of a personal one? Check out the headlines from the news and teach empathy and compassion for the broader world.
Step Two: Read a verse from your Bible. (Each Faith Inkubators curriculum includes suggested verses that kick off at church and go home for families to explore every night.
Step Three: Talk about how the verse relates to highs and lows. Unpack the verse a bit. What does it mean in your own words? How might it relate to where you are today in your highs and lows?
Step Four: Pray for one another's highs and lows, for your family, and for the world. Simply talk to God, thank Jesus for the good, and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in specific problems.
Step Five: Bless one another. Trace the sign of the cross on one another's forehead or palm as a reminder that you belong to God and to one another.
It's one thing for churches to encourage families to be more intentional about faith practices at home. It's another thing for churches to equip families to do so. Set your church up as a testing ground for families. Role model all five steps on a regular basis at worship, during Sunday School, at adult education classes and even at board meetings. Over time, all of your people will become familiar with the practice and have an easier time transitioning church to home.
When an opportunity is provided for families to share stories about their faith practices in the home, growth abounds. Lives deepen. Traditions are built. Relationships are strengthened. The way a congregation functions changes. Setting an expectation to practice these five steps has made a difference in the way families connect and in the way we look at how we "do church." The body is only as healthy as its cells. Healthy, growing families contribute to a healthy, growing congregation.
Our founder, Rev. Rich Melheim, once asked his friend and mentor Dr. Tony Compolo a question: "What's the healthiest thing a kid can say?" The sociologist from Eastern College answered: "We always do it this way in my home."
Let's think about that. "We" means together, not off in our own separate places. "Always" means there's a ritual and continuity--something that happens on a regular basis. "This way" means an action--not something passive. "My home" means ownership, identity, security, safety.
What more could anyone want than for their kids to be saying this?
Acts, of course, is also the name of the book in the Bible that connects to the Gospels to the rest of the New Testament. The beginning of Acts moves right from the life of Jesus to the birth of the church, Pentecost. In the early church, they met in homes, dedicated themselves to the Apostles' teaching and prayer, and they shared everything. The church didn't spread like wildfire across the Roman world because of their philosophy or ability to argue. It was the "see how these Christians love one another" that took the world by storm.
These "house churches" changed the world once before. They can do it again.
The FAITH5 isn't really anything new. It's as old as Acts 2. Or maybe Deuteronomy 6.
"Keep these words which I command you today in your hearts. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise..."
If you have any questions about the FAITH5 system, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-55FAITH.
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