Mr. Wolfe of Wolfe Ministries has graciously consented to continue our public dialogue about what exactly some family integrated churches believe with the goal of seeking as much unity as possible. (Please read this to understand where I am coming from; it will help reduce questions). Below is my question and then his answers afterward. We plan a back-and-forth to continue in this fruitful vein. Naturally this is an open forum at puritanboard but my hope is to focus on specific questions then responses between myself and Mr. Wolfe as representative of two informed men on this issue. I do not presume that Mr. Wolfe speaks for all FICs. Mr. Mathis: "Here are my questions to help me understand your reasoning: 1. It is odd that you harp on "sufficiency of Scripture" yet allow for nurseries. How does that fit? 2. Where in the bible is it allowable to let "elder" at "times" "preside" over the "teaching of youth"? 3. "Systematic approaching the teaching of youth takes the hearts of children from their fathers"--based upon what facts? a) What is "systematic...teaching"? Perhaps once a week of eldership instruction about church ordinances for three months? 4. All the bad things you describe, unqualified instructors, downplaying the pulpit, isolation of children from body, bad influence and subculture are all equally symptomatic of bad family life as well: father is unlearned, mother belittles the pastor, family full of loners, family full of bad influence. This significant fact means that age-segregation can and has been *badly* used depending on the context of the health of the family, church and culture overall. Do you not agree?" Mr. Wolfe's answers: "1. I include an area where mothers can nurse infants and remove crying children. I see this as good and necessary consequence of corporate worship. 2. The Bible clearly teaches that an elder is able to teach. My reference to elders teaching the youth is in contrast to youth ministers, who are not elders, holding a position of authority and teaching in the Church. The term at times mean that it would also be improper for an elder to begin a programmatic system for teaching youth apart from their fathers. 3. This assertion is based on years on ministry experience, discussions with colleagues, and my own personal testimony. I have seen what it looks like when parents have the hearts of their children, and when they do not. I have also seen that this seems to be directly proportionate to the amount of time and effort fathers spend on discipling their children in the Word. Ken Ham's book, "Already Gone" touches on this. 4. To create a systematic program involves a mission statement, volunteers following that mission, and a gathering of youth at regular intervals in order for that program to complete their mission. Take this quote by Mike Yaconelli, "If we take the yearnings of young people seriously, then we can admit to ourselves that youth aren't interested in our answers (often given in response to questions they're not asking). They're not looking for safe activities. What they're seeking is the companionship of adults who embody a different way of being." THIS is what I am talking about. Successful youth ministers win the hearts of the youth that they teach. This is the only way a youth minister can influence the youth. "Youth ministry used to be about forming relationships with teens so that they would come to your programs. Today, programs are not the end goal. Instead, programs serve as open doors for building relationships." - Hank Hilliard 4. It is a mistake to make a case for well-done unbiblical ecclesiology. That is the equivalent to a well rolled doob. It may be well rolled, but it doesn't honor God. I am not comfortable trying to improve on God's plan for raising youth in the faith. Why in the world does the church insist on this model??? It is unbiblical and it's failing to turn out disciples. It's FIC counerparts are turning out a vastly greater percentage of well saved people. It's madness."