Saturday, October 25, 2008

Family Worship

We mentioned in our last newsletter that we would be doing a blog entry on Family Worship. A friend was telling us recently of a pastor that was interviewing for a position at a church. The Senior Pastor asked him if he was in a regular routine of leading his family in daily worship. His thought was the same as mine. When I think of worship, I typically think of singing. But that is not what the pastor meant.

Recently Dave and I listened to a Familylife radio broadcast that featured a pastor named Voddie Baucham. He talked about the importance of fathers being the Prophets, Priests, Providers, and Protectors in their home, and the responsibility of fathers to disciple their families - not the churches responsibility, but fathers. There will be situations where the father , for reason, is absent (whether in body or in spirit), and in that case it would be the mom. The point of this post is to encourage families that the responsibility of discipling our children comes from home, and we should not leave it up to others (i.e. the church)to do.

We listened to the program on a CD in the car while we were traveling form NC to GA. Dave expressed his heart to me about the conviction he felt to lead his family in worship on a daily basis. He has taken this task very seriously. I will share some simple things we have done, but ultimately would love to hear from others what you have done. We would like to hear thoughts, ideas, what you do, or even some frustrations you may have had in this area. If you are like me, you need ideas. What you do will depend on the age of your children, so we would love to hear from families with children of all ages. Nothing is too much or too little. Some of us need to start out small, so please share.

The way we started out was just picking a topic, verse or book of the Bible to read through and discuss. (Voddie talks about the 3 points he uses - can't remember them exactly, but the gist is, read the verses, discuss what the verses mean, and then talk about how you are going to apply it). We have been going through the book of Philippians, and dissecting it verse by verse. We have a time of prayer, and sing a few worship songs, which we usually let the kids pick. One day, Dave just asked the boys if anyone had a particular verse they wanted to discuss, and Samuel said, "Yes, John 1:12", then proceeded to open his Bible up to the verse and read it out loud - then we all discussed it. Next week, we are going to take turns having the kids lead the worship time. I'm sure tears and frustration will be involved. : )

One thing we have been meaning to do for years (see, you're not the only one who procrastinates) : ) is the "Family Nights Tool Chest" that is put out by Focus on the Family. These family game nights are set up as a devotional/game night, that include hands on activities to help your children remember the lesson. I pulled the book out last week so I can prepare for a lesson. This is something we would like to do once a week, but if we can even do it once a month, I know it will make a big impact. One example is on the tongue and the power of your words. There is a whole lesson with Bible verses included, but the activity is this: have your kids squeeze an entire tube of toothpaste onto a paper plate. Once it is all out, tell them to now put it ALL back in. of course they will tell you that is impossible. In which you would reply, "Yes, and it is the same with our words. Once they leave your mouth, you cannot take them back."

Another good resource that is simple but will have great long term rewards (especially for kids 12 and under), is a book called "Big Truths for Little Kids", by Susan and Richie Hunt. This book has great stories, and goes through the catechisms. A catechism is a set of questions and answers learned or memorized to teach a body of information. This book uses questions, answers, stories, scripture and prayer to help you communicate the character of God. It is fun for us as well, because we learn them too. I tested a friend on some basic questions and she failed. She felt the need to get the book herself to learn the right answers. : )

Click HERE to access audio or written transcript of Voddie Baucham's program.

We just ordered Voddie's book, that talks more about raising our kids is this culture we live in today. It is called "Family Driven Faith".

Our family has so much to learn, and having these times of worship with our boys is bringing out some of those things. We have had a great opportunity to hit some serious heart issues, and talk to our boys about the responsibility we have as believers in Christ, to prepare our hearts for God to do the work that only He can do. Some hard truths have come out, and it has given each of us an opportunity to examine ourselves, to see if we are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5), and talk about the Cost of being a disciple of Christ (Luke 14;26-33).

We look forward to hearing from you...

Praying the Lord will bless every effort you put forth to bring Him the glory and honor He is so worthy of...