Thursday, April 29, 2010

Family Worship Blog from guest blogger....Bro. Brad Walker

Bro. Brad and his sweet family have been a great asset to our Trinity family in just the short time that they have been here! Our students are already being challenged to examine their faith, to articulate an accurate Gospel and to minister in ways that they have never thought of before. I am thankful that Bro. Brad and Bro. Jeff Summers work so well together and have such a heart to develop our FAMILIES - they correctly view their ministry as one of equipping parents to grow their children. This emphasis on family ministry is just one of MANY reasons I am so thankful that God has sent Bro. Brad our way! As I have always considered myself blessed to have my boys under Bro. Jeff Summer's ministry - I am confident and excited to watch them continue to grow under the ministry of Bro. Brad!

Family Worship at the Walker sometimes like herding cats!!
Preparing for family worship at the Walker house is sometimes like herding cats. My wife, Elicia, and I have a 3 year old and a 17 month old. With boys of these ages, energy levels are often high and attention spans low. Like most families in our church, we are a very busy family; therefore, we try to keep the big picture in mind with our family worship. Our goals are very simple. We strive to have family worship 4 or 5 times a week (we desire to grow to 7). Depending on our day, we may have family worship at breakfast, supper or at bedtime. As often as possible, we have family worship with all four of us, but sometimes it’s just with two or three of us (sometimes Elicia has to put one of them to bed early). During this stage in the life of our family, we have learned to be flexible. Our focus is on packing truth into the hearts of our young children and not working to check family worship off of our list of Christian disciplines.
The layout of this time typically consists of Bible reading, questions/discussion, praising the Lord in song, and prayer. We love to use resources for young children that employ repetition, a gospel-centered message, and a storyline that points to Christ. Some of our favorite tools to use in family worship include but are not limited to the following sources:
The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones
Both of these Children’s Bibles point to Christ at the center of every Bible story. Our children love the great illustrations and the captivating writing style of each of these Bibles.
A Sure Foundation by Sally Michael, Children Desiring God and Bethlehem Baptist Church
This is a curriculum for young toddlers that teaches children foundational biblical truths while giving them a biblical vocabulary and helping them see a great God. The lessons are designed to be repeated over and over again and are complete with wonderfully illustrated story pictures, a scripture memory set, songs to sing, and color/activity sheets to use for reinforcement.
To say the least, setting aside and maintaining time for family worship requires a daily dying to self! There are many days and nights when it would be much easier to just skip it. That is why we have to be convinced that the purpose of family worship is to honor God and to plant and water the seeds of the gospel in the hearts of our young children and pray that God will provide the increase at His appointed time. We will never be able to do a perfect job of worshipping God whether in private or as a family; therefore, family worship is another opportunity to experience the grace of our Lord!

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