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...


Ron and Nicole Cook said...

What an awesome topic! We as a family were convicted of this not too long ago. Since Eliana was born, I made a point to have a "quiet time" with her every morning, same with Caden. At breakfast in the morning we pray, read our toddler Bible, discuss the story, sing a song or 2 and then close in prayer for our day. Even for the littlest ones, this is great "practice." As they grow, my desire is they will grow with the knowledge that spending time in the Word is not an optional start to your day. While this practice was good and we enjoy it, I knew something was missing. My husband! Ron was often gone by breakfast, and I felt the void as to Ron leading our family,and us trully having "Family worship" instead of just mom and kids worship. I also am in the midst of reading Voddie Baucham's book "Family Driven Faith," and let me tell you, I have been convicted over and over. It has been awesome. Right before I started reading the book, Ron and I sat down and discussed the need for family worship in our home. We ordered "Big Truths for Little Kids" and are now doing the catechism with our 3 year old. Yes, there are plenty of questions we skip, (I am pretty sure introducing the concept of the Trinity at this juncture would be rather futile!) but the entire family is learning right along with her. Of course with littler ones, expectations need to be realistic. Caden at 17 months spends more time roaming the room and reading books himself, but as soon as we start singing after catechism questions and the small devotional in the book, he jumps right up on the couch to sing with us! And he loves to pray. That is what we are currently doing for family worship: catechism, devotional, song, prayer. Many would think our kids are too young for much of this, but we know we are simply establishing a foundation for the rest of life. (wow! This was more than a comment, it's a blog entry in itself!)

The Cooke Family said...

Nicole, thank you for your comment. This is what I am looking for - a blog in the comment section. I hope others will do the same. No response is too long - this is an important subject, and I pray the contents will be of help to others, as I know they will be for me. I wish we had started this with our kids as early as you have. Way to go! I love that my 3 year old niece knows the answer to the question, "Why did God create you and all things?" As we all should know...."For His own Glory"

Toknowhim said...

So glad to see a post from my Fwend... I don't get to talk to you as much later, so I actually do read things going on with you that I didn't already know about on your bloggy :) I am going to do a little post on my main page directing people your way...

I am on my way out so I will leave a comment now, and then ponder this and leave another comment later.

Besides praying with the kids, and sometimes reading a short Bible passage at night, we don't really have a family worship time. We have family meetings about once a week at the dinner table where we talk about what's going on in the times that is pretty close to a family worship time, but is not what you are describing exactly.

This is something that we need to implement soon while the children are open and receptive to learning about the things of God... Hopefully, their hearts will always be tender to God, but there is no guarantee so we need to sow into their hearts now about God and His Ways...

Love ya Fwend, and talk to you soon...

Mama2fiveblessings said...

Well Cooke Family, we are huge Voddie Baucham fans around here and have been doing Family Worship around here since reading Family Driven Faith earlier this year. Robert is now an elder with our church and the elders are in the process of reading the book as well. We are praying that they will be quickened by the messages and will make some changes in the way our church operates and encourage more father lead things. Our pastor is very much on board and talks about fathers praying and worshipping with their families at home. We have been going through a One Year Devotion book by Josh McDowell as well as doing the Truth and Grace Memory books that Voddie's church uses. It is made up of three books, we are only on the first one. There are groups of Scripture passages to memorize as well as a Catechism which we love. It helps us all to be able say why we believe what we believe. Even our two youngest are getting a lot out of doing this.

Another thing that we have done is to keep our children in church with us. Our church has children's church during the service and all the kids are in for praise and worship but then leave for the message. We decided earlier in the year that we want our family to worship together and be able to discuss afterwards what each of us learned. It has worked so well for us. Robert is hoping to get the church to have a Sunday School class the hour before service and then have the children in the service. We are still working on this one. We would love to have a more family integrated Sunday school class where it is not age segregated but father lead and the whole family attends. This has really become our applause to you for bringing up the topic. Hope this helps a bit.
We love you all and pray for your continued success with raising support.

Holly said...

Our very good friends are on staff for FL (Bob and Lana Richardson)--and they have shared this before with their prayer partners, but here is one way we worship as a family:

I hope it blesses you! Praying for you to raise all your support and asking God to come in power in swiftly bringing it.

Becky said...

The church we are presently in is very strong in promoting and practicing family worship. We were invited to Sunday dinner, a couple weeks ago, to one of the elders' home and had the priviledge to be apart of thier family worship time. What a blessing! We do have the book "Big Truths for Little Kids" and it is awesome. We have been going through it very slowly for the past couple of months now. It is something you want to take your time in so that everyone can soak it up. Very good stuff!

Ken Huber said...

Our family worship time is rather simple. Our kids are 9, 7, 5, and 3. After dinner, I read a passage (story) from an illustrated Bible (curretnly a comic-strip style version). After the passage, I ask the kids what the story was about, what they can learn from it, and then talk about how those lessons can apply to them. Then the kids recommend prayer requests or praises that they want to pray for and volunteer to pray for at least one thing each. We spend a short time in prayer and I close us in prayer.

That's prety much it. We've been doing this every night that I am home for dinner (3 to 4 times a week) for about 4.5 years now. The older 3 do really well and the youngest just listens.

Hope that helps. I am so glad to hear that other people are talking seriously the responsibility to instruct our children in the Lord

ghorton said...

Our family devotions were always hit and miss because I don't have creative juices to come up with something every night UNTIL we stumbled onto Walk thru the Bible and started using their Family Walk. It always has a theme for the whole week and appropriate scripture. It begins with a story which will grab the kids attention and then a related bible application. We became convicted to do family devos when pasor Bogan said to us "In 35 years of ministry I have never known a family to lose a child to the world who did regular consistent family devos". This started us on our journey. When the kids were young we were always on the floor around the bed having devos and prayer before bed. As they got older our routine became at 9PM the tv was truned off and the phone off the hook and we did devos. Thou the devos were important, often the topic opened up a time to share as a family. Most times we would spend 10 to 15 minutes on devos and 45 min to an hour just talking about what is happening in our lives. We had great sharing times. When the kids went left home and went to college, they said the thing they missed the most was family devos.

tim K. said...

Proverbs 22:6, baby, Prov 22:6, we can pray- pray- pray! Sounds like you guys are well on your way! Pray for consistency and accountability for each other, and enjoy it. Don't make it a chore, keep it simple. Discipline yourselves, and above all, strive to Please Him in all you do, especially your study, at every level. Don't freak out cause you don't get thru all the verses (we never do) and have fun! You guys know what to do, and you got some great suggestions if you had any doubt. Pray those reading this get going!

Laura S. said...

We are going through "Big Truths for Little Kids", aiming to do one lesson per week. We found that we have reviewed the first few a lot just to be sure the boys were really getting it. We also pray together as a family every night and before school. Our family worship time has not been as consistent since we've been staying with family, but we've been trying to get back as much of our old routine as possible while we're in this season.

a woman found said...

I actually read this article a few days back and wanted to comment but was pulled away by something and never got back to it... so thanks for reminding me with your invitation. :)

This topic of worshipping with our kids and teaching them God's word is one I'm passionate about because God is teaching ME how to do that with my modern day "Greek" husband (Like is mentioned of Timothy's dad). I started a whole blog dedicated to that as a place where I could share what the Lord is teaching me and where other women and I could share resources and ideas. It's

But anyway, in short, some of the ways I try to keep a worshipful focus and apply God's word to my kids' lives as we go through our days is:

1. we start the day reading the word (after daddy goes to work) and then just talking about it (shortly... my kids are just 3 and 5 so very short attention spans, but we can go for about 20 minutes at the most). Then we sing and dance together a song of worship to the Lord.

2. I pray with the boys often and pray outloud often as I'm doing my stuff throughout the day. It's not uncommon for one of the boys to just start praying out of nowhere... and its been awesome to see and hear my husband say to his 5 year old, "What are you doing?" and have hime reply, "I was praying dad."

3. I pray, pray, pray, pray, pray... and then use every oppurtunity to use a life situation to talk about God's word with the boys.

4. At the end of the day I always put them to bed with a song of worship and a pray with them. It's awesome, cause last night I was gone and my husband tucked the boys in, and when I got home he told me that they asked him to sing the song I usually sing (which is Blessed Be Your Name). My husband went and looked it up on the computer, printed out the lyrics and sang it to them!

My family is living proof that no situation has to be ideal to worship the Lord and learn of Him through His word!

Blessings to you!

All in Christ said...

I just finished reading Family Driven Faith and it is a great book. It is perfect for someone like me, who has just been married and is beginning to look into family issues. I found this book does not give detailed instruction, but a basic outline, of what a Christian family should look like. It's an excellent introduction and gives many reasons why you should raise your children in the way that Dr. Baucham advocates.
God bless you.