Family Church

Discipleship happens at home!

What is church?

There's the Simple Answer

Church in its simplest form is a group of believers coming together in the presensence of Holy Spirit for:
Communion / Breaking Bread

And the More Nuanced Answer: The Church iN Layers

The Church is a sacred institution put in place by Jesus to carry out His mission of bringing His Kingdom restoration here on the Earth. The Church is actually described as being the body of Christ in Ephesians 1:23.  This is such a wonderful anaology for the church because the human body is made up of cells which make up tissues, which make up organs, which make up body systems, which form a whole body, and that body works as one unit for you to live your life.  In the same way, the Church has different "layers" of organization that work together to accomplish the Mission of Jesus. There are many ways to look at these layers, but here's a quick example of how it works for us at Vineyard Jackson:

We are part of the Global Church of Jesus (all believers in Jesus are our brothers and sisters and part of the body of Christ)
We are part of the Vineyard Movement (this is our faith tradition / denomination)
We are members of Vineayrd USA in the Gulf Coast Region
We are part of local body called Vineyard Jackson
And we enocourage ALL our members to be engaged in discipleship in their homes as part of what we call a Family Church

Is Family Church just another word for a small group?

Some small groups do fit this description! And if yours does, thats amazing. We use the term "Family Church" to emphasize that we are not just focusing on prayer, fellowship, and teaching, but that we are doing ALL FIVE of the elements of church with our family on a regular basis: worship, teaching, communion, fellowship, and prayer. Having church with your family creates a space to disciple your children, be "iron sharpeners" for each other, and grow in the Lord together, because it encourages you to bring the Lord into your home and "regular" life instead of just visiting Him at the church building on Sundays. It can (and should) also be an amazing way to invite your neighbors and friends in to share your faith in a way that's low key and not as intimidating as coming to a big church building!

What if I'm single and don't live with my family?

Don't let the name limit you!  Every believer in the world is your brother or sister.  You can have Family Church with your believing friends, room mates, coworkers or neighbors! In fact, we STRONGLY encourage you to do exactly that!  A healthy Family Church should have an impact not just on your home but your community!

Does it have to be a group of believers? Can I invite a friend who isn't saved?

We believe only believers can truely "do church" in the sense that a pre-believer can't really engage in some of the elements like worship or communion. That shouldn't stop you from bringing those people in and making them feel welcome, though! In fact, if a friend who is not a believer is willing to join you, we recomend taking that time to not only show them what church is about but to answer their questions and share your testimony with them!

If you want to meet with a group of unsaved friends who are curious about Jesus, that's not technically church, but it can be something else very exciting: A Bible Discovery Group!  If you get the chance to lead one of those, please contact Pastor Beau and he'll give you some guidance (they're sort of his specialty).

Okay, but I'm not a teacher or a worship leader. How do I do this?

That’s not a problem! There are plenty of ways to do the different elements of church that don't require specialized skills.  Our motto is  K.I.S.S.  (Keep it simple, Saints!) Here are a few ideas:

  • Teaching:
    • Read a bible passage or story together and then discuss it. For example, if you read one of the epistles, you could talk about who the book was written to, what you can learn about God and humanity from the text, and what you need to apply to your life based on what you read.
    • Watch a teaching video from a quality online resourse. You might listen to one of our archived sermons or a video form The Bible Project together as a group and discuss what you learned
  • Worship:  
    • Look up your favorite worship songs on youtube, spotify or other streaming service and sing along. Remember that not all Christian music is worship. Worship should be you singing TO God and giving him the honor, not simply singing about HIm.
    • Just sing a few hymns accapella. It doesn't have to sound pretty, just make a joyful noise from the heart!
    • If music isn't your thing, that's okay! Worship is about minstering to the Lord, not music. Read a poem about God's goodness and power (there's many psalms that fit the bill) or simply speak direclty to God and give HIm praise and honor.
  • Communion:  The Lord's table doesn't have to be complicated or formal . Just share a meal together and thank Jesus that in the same way the food and drink nourish your physical body, His blood and body which he gave for you on the cross are also the neccessary nourishment for your soul.  
  • Prayer:  Prayer is just communication with the Lord. You can do this in SO MANY creative ways!
    • Have a list of topics and have each person choose one and pray out loud
    • Invite each person to share a prayer need and pray with them about that need
    • Take some time to sit and listen for the voice of God. Set a timer and sit quietly. At the end, share what each person heard the Lord say.
    • Have each person write a letter to Jesus
    • Pray a psalm over each other, personalizing it with each person's name  (ex. The Lord is Beau's shepherd, he shall not want...)
    • Sing a "prayer song". An example of this might be "Come Alive" by Lauren Daigel, which you can sing as a prayer over someone you love who you would like to see come to faith.

and have fun!

"And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. " Acts 13:52  NASB