I am so thankful that God saw fit to bring Jon and Suzanne Rushing into our Church family at Trinity!! What a blessing it is to see his heart each and every week as he leads us to worship in Spirit and Truth! Let us at Trinity, never take for granted that Bro. Jon has passion for doctrinal truth and a Biblical view of the Church - what a rare thing to find in music ministry today! He is indeed a Pastor first, whose role it is to lead us in worship. I am so thankful that he has a heart for God, a heart for his family and a heart for this Church.
A look at family worship, from Bro. Jon Rushing...
The Rushing Characters
Time: 8:22 A.M.
Place: Kitchen table, our home, Southaven, MS
Characters: 4 total…character #1 (Dad), character #2 (Mom), character #3 (5 year old boy), character #4 (9 year old boy)
Objective: Family time in the Word
Hindrances: time… the above characters… Satan…(did I mention the above characters?!)… distraction of the day’s agenda… time… and oh, yeah - the characters!
As the characters gather around the table, the first focus is eating, so there is coffee, juice, milk, and various breakfast foods being brought to the table. Typically whoever gets to the table first, finishes his/her above mentioned breakfast before the others and at this point character #1 (Dad) says, “Make sure you have your Bible.” This is almost always followed by “Yes, sir,” or “I forgot.” (Characters #3 and #4 are, after all, kids.) So with breakfast in their stomachs, character #1 (Dad) typically leads out and either leads the time or assigns one of the others to read, etc.
Our time in the Word is a lot of things, but it is not dull or predictable. We do have a routine, but within that routine, there is much flexibility. If there wasn’t - we would go crazy (and if you were observing us, you might think we were there already). Because of the ages of our boys, we have to tried to be balanced between simple story- based resources (like using Sunday School sheets, AWANA Cubbies material, or Big Truths For Little Kids, by Susan & Richie Hunt) and books with a little more depth (like Big Truths For Young Hearts, by Bruce Ware). We are currently alternating between the Hunt book and the Ware book. When we use the Ware book, we don’t cover a full chapter in one sitting because our 5 year old can’t stay focused that long. We will typically cover a single point and assign the different Scripture references around the table, so we don’t all look up each one (this keeps the time shorter). We also use a children’s resource from ‘Desiring God Ministries’ that is really neat: they are called “Fighter Verses”. It’s a small ring-bound pack of cards with descriptive pictures on one side and a Bible verse on the other. We will allow each child to pick and display a picture while the rest of the family tries to guess what verse is. It’s a great way to teach/review Scripture memory and also have fun while doing it! Most nights of the week we try to have some individual time with each child to read together something that is truly on their level, too. This happens a lot of time at bedtime. It’s not an every night thing because of the busy-ness of life, but we try to do it several times a week. This has sometimes been reading a fiction book that communicates Biblical truth (Chronicles of Narnia, Sugar Creek Gang) or listening through one of the Gospels using an audio Bible (The Word Of Promise or The Bible Experience) or reading a kids devotional (God’s Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible or The Jesus Storybook Bible). I hate to blow up the stereotype of the Worship Pastor’s home, but we don’t always sing during our family times! But many times, we will end our family worship by asking if there is a particular song that comes to mind, based on what we have just learned, and then we sing it out! (usually involving some type of motions!) We do have worship music playing around the house a lot and make Christian music readily available to them to listen to in their rooms as well. (our youngest gets the award for the loudest jam sessions!)
I hope that while you read about our “characters” you are encouraged that the task of discipling our children is a doable thing for a “normal” family. But we have found that we must be intentional, but flexible…planned, but spontaneous. According to Deuteronomy 6, we are to teach our children all the time. This only happens effectively as they watch us live out the gospel during our typical daily activities, not just around the table. God uses both to reinforce who He is in a believer’s life, and it is my prayer that when the Rushing boys reach adulthood, they will say that they were able to see their folks walk through the good, the bad, and the ugly of life following Jesus through it all.