These are words one would expect to hear at the beginning of Sunday morning church service. If you’re ever at New Life, Vernon Hills, you would indeed hear these words, calling us as the gathered people of God into the sacred and blessed privilege of congregational worship. Gathering with God’s people for worship is truly one of the highlights of my week. “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”
For many years in my Christian life, it never occurred to me that worship takes place at other times and places than Sunday mornings at “church”. I grew up in the tradition that worship is what’s done on Sundays and in a “church” building exclusively. When you used the term “worship service” everyone knew you meant—Sunday morning at 11:00 am. You could even drop the service part and just say “worship” and folks still knew you meant the 11:00 am hour. Thinking back on all those additional gatherings we attended on Sundays, i.e. the 3:00 afternoon and the 7:30 evening services, they were referred to as just that, “services”, but not “worship” services. “Worship” service is at 11:00 am.
As a matter of fact when my father calls (even now) and I say, “Dad, let me call you back, we’re in the middle of family worship“, the “family worship” part still causes him to pause. It’s just plain difficult for folks to even imagine that worship goes on outside of the Sunday morning church service. Sadly as a result of this kind of thinking and practice, the privilege and blessings of worshipping God has been under experienced by many today.
Furthermore, this misunderstanding of worship has and is causing so many to bypass an old tried and true way of passing the faith to our offspring. Yes, you got it! Family Worship is what I was getting at in my last post regarding the family. I say it’s time to discover for some and rediscover for others the blessed privilege and value of worshipping in our homes with our families throughout the week.
Let’s be clear up front. I am not talking about circumventing the regular church worship times. I am not suggesting in any “way, shape, form or fashion” that family worship replaces the worship of the gathered people of God. I’m submitting that in addition to, and not to be confused with those times, we should be worshipping with our families in our homes.
You will find a biblical foundation for Family worship throughout the Scriptures. Let’s take a look at Deuteronomy 11:18–21 as an example.
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.”
This text helps me own the massive trust the Lord has placed upon me for truth in my home. Man, this is encouraging. It is almost inconceivable that God would entrust me and you to put His Word before these tender hearts. What a huge privilege. In His awesome wisdom, God saw to it that we would have more access to our families than anyone else. It’s sad that many are trying today to upend this great providence.
It seems the Lord knew we would wrestle with creative ways to bring His Word to bear upon our families so He helps us brainstorm, i.e. teaching, talking, sitting and walking (sounds like some Christian rap). When it’s time for bed and when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. We must think about ways to keep the Word of God in plain view like on doors, garage walls, refrigerators and mirrors. Let the creative juices flow. Any of you care to add to the list? What about a time designed for Family Worship? How about incorporating into your family life a mini replication of what happens on the Lord’s Day? Consider a daily specific time for singing, praying, reading and discussing the Bible together. What a wonderful and consistent way to continue the legacy of faith in our families.
I suggest we be bold and call it “Family Worship”. It will serve as a reminder to you and your family that worship of God is not limited to Sunday mornings and the building you meet in. It will demonstrate that God is the center of your home and provide one of the most effective ways to pass the faith along to the next generation.
Some of you have been doing Family Worship for quite some time now. We would love to hear from you. Tell us how it’s going, i.e. ups, downs etc. Maybe this is all new to you and you have questions. Well, this is The Front Porch and we can talk about it.
As I said in an earlier post, I am not an expert on the family. I’m just another brother who desires to serve them well for the glory of God. However, when it comes to Family Worship and its effect, as the old folks would say, “I’m a living witness”.
Well, gotta go. It’s almost 7:00 pm here and time for me to make that clarion call; “Let Us Worship God.”