Rev Rich Melheim founded Faith Inkubators USA almost 20 years ago. Since the beginning, all Faith Inkubators resources have had at their core a five-step faith practice. We call this the FAITH5: Faith Acts In The Home.
The FAITH5 is at the very centre of everything Faith Inkubators does and has become its trademark for ministry in the congregation and home. Each lesson of every Faith Inkubators resource incorporates the FAITH5 and Bible Song. The Head to the Heart journals provide a place for the FAITH5 to be recorded, becoming a family spiritual history book.
The five steps of the FAITH5
Share highs and lows. Name something good and something bad that happened to you today or during the week. Can’t think of a personal one? Check out the headlines from the news and teach concern and compassion for the broader world.
Read a verse from your Bible. Each Faith Inkubators’ resource includes suggested verses families can explore.
Talk about how the verse relates to highs and lows. Unpack the verse a bit. What does it mean in your own words? How does it relate to your life today?
Pray for one another’s highs and lows, for your family and for the world. Simply talk to God, bringing your highs and lows and the concerns of others along. Praise God, thank Jesus, and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Bless one another; we all belong to God. 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.
Faith acts in the home
The definition of ‘acts’ as a noun is ‘something someone has done or the action of carrying something out’. Our focus is to take actions in every household and set an expectation to intentionally carry them out. When theologian/sociologist Tony Campolo was once asked, ‘What is the healthiest thing a young person could say about his or her family?’ he answered, ‘We always do it this way in our home’.
Let’s unpack this statement. ‘We’ means together, not off in our own separate places. ‘Always’ means there’s a ritual—something that happens on a regular basis. ‘This way’ means an action—not something passive. ‘Our home’ means under our roof—a central place for family identity. What more could we want than for households to be saying this?
Acts is, of course, also the name of the book in the Bible that connects 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.
‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8).
After the Holy Spirit came upon them, the disciples went from town to town establishing smaller churches some refer to as ‘house churches’. Faith in the home is the goal. What better place to invite the Holy Spirit to come upon us?
From church to home
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 it. Set your church up as a ‘testing ground’ for families. Role-model all five steps on a regular basis at worship, during Sunday school, and at adult education classes. Over time, families will become familiar with the practice and have an easier time transitioning church to home.
From home back to church
When an opportunity is provided for families to share stories about their faith practices in the home, stories abound. Lives grow, traditions are built and relationships are strengthened. The way a congregation functions changes. Setting an expectation to practise these five steps makes 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.
Some families might be overwhelmed when looking at the entire FAITH5 list. Remember, just doing the first step in the FAITH5 (Sharing Highs and Lows) in the home will place your families light years ahead of the vast majority of families world-wide. Start simply and grow over time.
If you would like to learn more about the FAITH5, visit www.faithink.com.au.