Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sermon Sunday---Family Worship

This week I have been listening to sermons regarding the topic of having Family Worship. I will be honest here and say that having a regular formal family worship time is a goal at our house rather than a reality. At this point, my husband is working such crazy shifts, that we often spend our days tiptoeing around, trying to keep quiet so he can sleep, or he gets home just in time to carry the kids to bed. I try to do small Bible lessons with the little ones, though I am not as consistent as I'd like to be, and we pray with them and for them before bedtime. Tex is doing a Bible study as part of his homeschooling, and we encourage him to also follow the Bible reading schedule in his planner. I listen to lots of sermons and Christian seminars while working, before bed, and while driving, and we often have the radio tuned to a local Christian station, playing a worship or hymn cd, or sit and listen to a Christian audio story (sometimes an audio Bible and other times something like Jonathan Park). We often choose to read Bible stories, or stories with a Biblical messages at night, and we always stick to ones that encourage moral and mannerly behavior. I have certain Bible verses I work on with the kids from time to time, and we do like to sing Bible songs together (randomly), and with some, we are even learning the signs.

While all that is good, my idea of what I'd like my children to remember as part of their growing up experience, is our family getting together around the table all at the same time being led by their dad in family worship of some sort. My picture of this would be a short devotion or story, discussing what it means, maybe talking over any problems we have or see, working on a Bible verse, and perhaps practicing a hymn we want the kids to learn together (I believe there is great value in learning the classic hymns and not just more modern praise songs and choruses, though I like them, too), before praying as a family. I don't necessarily think we'd have to do the same sort of thing for the same amount of time every day. I certainly don't think we need to have a lengthy sermonizing most times (though listening to an occassional sermon together and talking about it is nice), or that we have to have any sort of fancy activities or exciting games to make it "fun" for the kids. Just a simple time of togetherness, worshiping God, and learning more about Him and his Word, just as He commanded us to do.

So I wondered, "Are there sermons out there that will give me some sort of ideas on how to get this started or what it looks like for other families?" I mean, I don't know if my perception of what I would like to see is "right" or not. I wondered what the Bible has to say about worshiping together as a family...if it lays out any specific things we should or should not do. Thus, I typed in a search for "Family Worship Audio Sermons" and got a results list a mile long. Apparently, this is a much preached on topic. Quite daunting, in fact, since after pulling up only ones where I  recognized the source, and not even looking further at other specific places I usually look, I still had at least a dozen tabs up with sermons to listen to.

Listen to them I did, and here are the ones that made the final cut. I am listing them in order of detail...kind of as if the first one is an introduction, and the rest give more details or a different perspective afterwards. The first one was my favorite, for content and style, so if you only have time for one, please choose it. The final one is a great wrap up and very convicting.  The central series is excellent, so really, if you can, listen to them all!!

Since I did so much listening this week, I did not take the time to find supplemental materials or a song, so if you want those, you will have to Google search them on your own (sorry!). Maybe I will have another post on this topic down the line as I find more good ones and include some extra resources with it.

Here are my top picks for this week:

Sermon One: Family Worship by Stephen Gambill---I appreciate his perspective and overall  viewpoint on this topic. An excellent overview.

Sermons Two through Five:  Begin with the End, The Biblical Commission for the Family Altar, The Role of the Church in Family Worship , and The Ultimate Goal of Family Worship by Mark Livingston---An EXCELLENT four-part introduction to the concept and importance of family worship. Whose job is it anyway to teach your kids about the Gospel?I really appreciated this speaker's simple and straightforward thoughts on starting family worship in our homes, and also on how the church should be involved in developing a sense of family worship by encouraging the "family pew,' strengthening the fathers, and facilitating multi-generational discipleship. I encourage you to listen to all four parts, then think on them and discuss them...feel free to comment here!

Sermon Six: Is God in Your House: The Biblical Case for Family Worship is a top rated sermon that covers all aspects of family worship, from the benefits of it, to the consequences of neglecting it. It also focuses on the importance of God being the centrality and focus of our families and lives, and addresses practical aspects of how to conduct family worship.

I hope you enjoy listening, and, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts...please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for joining me.



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