Ridgewood, Port Arthur, revamps to retain teens and disciple parents

What is Age-Integrated Discipleship?

Come see it in action!

Four times a year (Jan. April, July and Oct.) Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, holds an open house for visitors to get a first-hand look at family-oriented discipleship and how it impacts church life. Visitors will:

1. Stay a Saturday night in the home of a GFBC family (based on availability)

2. Attend a GFBC Sunday service

3. Enjoy a fellowship meal after the service

4. Participate in a Q&A session with GFBC elders If this interests you, send an email to info@gracefamilybaptist.net

“Gone are the days when Christians understood that the home — and not the Christian church or school — is principally and primarily responsible for the education, evangelism, and discipleship of children and that our ecclesiology should reflect that reality.”

These words, taken from the foreword of a new book, Turning the Ship, pinpoint the problem that troubled Dustin Guidry, pastor of Ridgewood Baptist Church in Port Arthur.

Written by Guidry, the book chronicles how he and staff members came to grips with, and solved their unwillingness to place their children in age-segregated, church discipleship programs, be they Sunday school, children’s church, youth department and camps, even the nursery, all of which were the traditional methodology at Ridgewood.

Following a long season of soul-searching and scriptural study, Guidry and staff have returned to a biblical model of discipleship and to those days long gone cited in the opening sentence above, cited from the foreword of Guidry’s book, and written by Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas.

According to Baucham, Guidry has “done what many thought was impossible. He has taken a

neo-traditional church and moved it toward family integration. In Turning the Ship, he offers an honest, hard-hitting, no-holds-barred look at the origins, the path, obstacles, and the tremendous rewards of his church’s journey. This is not a panacea. Nor is it a program-oriented marketing scheme designed to get every church on the same path in forty days. This is one man’s story of triumph, tragedy, heartache, and joy as he pursued biblical ecclesiology with tenacity that at

times resembled Jacob wrestling with the angel.”

Taking the cue from Titus 2, Guidry and staff fashioned a mid-week discipleship approach for the entire church where the older men teach the younger men, and the older women teach the younger women.

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