Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Guest Blog on Family Worship....from Bro. Greg Stringfield...

Bro. Greg Stringfield has been at Trinity for several years and we are a blessed Church by his faithfulness. He has been so patient and so willing to undertake some very drastic changes and has done all he can to make this Pastor's role at Trinity much easier. Greg has been a great help in identifying areas of need and making timely suggestions in meeting those needs. I am thankful that God had placed Bro. Greg at Trinity and had given some years of experience here before I came, and especially that Bro. Greg has been such a willing partner in bringing about a culture of love and unity during these most recent days. I look forward to years of serving with Bro. Greg and think that Trinity will only be stronger for his devotion.

Now, from Bro. Greg Stringfield...
I’m blessed to have a family unit united with Christ! My wife Leigh, my sons Carter (age 17) and Davis (age 13) have all committed their life to Christ and walk daily through God’s sanctification process. I’m so thankful for the grace He shows me in my leadership to my family…because at times, I feel so inadequate!!!

I have been asked to share insight into my family’s worship time at home, creating a lens of transparency so others can know of the rewards and failures we have experienced. I will start off by saying - it’s not a proving process - it is an example of “Grace”, “Love”, and “Forgiveness”. My boys like and respect consistency - and Leigh and I have tried the best we could to show consistency in our personal prayer and study time. I am a morning person, so I use the morning hours to spend my intimate time with Christ before the rest of the family awakes. If you ask the boys, they will tell you about my “prayer chair” and probably how they have seen me through the years being in prayer when they were headed to the kitchen for breakfast. Leigh spends the first part of the day (after the boys have left for school and I’m at the office) to study and pray.

Through the years, our approach has changed drastically. As the boys grew older it became easier than the earlier years, in my opinion. In the earlier years we would use the dinner table to share things with them that were building the foundation out of which their Spiritual relationship would be built. In most cases, it was very elementary and very short in time. As the years have progressed, we spend less time sharing around the dinner table because of all of our different schedules. We try desperately to not miss opportunities to be very frank with the boys individually about the amount of time they spend reading and praying. Leigh has been the cheerleader, reminding me through the years to maintain a time for growing as a family unit. I will be very frank and say it’s been a struggle. This is the “Grace” I spoke of earlier, that God provides to me in my inadequacies in this area. Now that the boys are older, we have conversations on an adult level and, to be honest, Leigh and I learn from them as well - and this adds to our worship time together. Carter especially, is at the age where he will open up and discuss questions and concerns in his Spiritual walk. They now read and ask questions about what it means to be a “Christian” at school and with their close friends. Carter often picks a book from my library to read - this allows us an opportunity to discuss the book and how he might implement what he has read. Davis, on the other hand, is beginning to be challenged by Brad (Trinity’s Student Pastor) to read books that will aide in his relationship and understanding of basic doctrine. I try to use this opportunity to discuss the book with him so I might help in his understanding of the key points.

Just writing this blog has illuminated to me that my family spends more one on one time with each other than we do as a family unit in worship. Can and has this worked for us? In a lot of ways we have made it work. Could we benefit from making more time as a complete unit in worship? Absolutely!!! It is by God’s grace that my wife and my boys continue to grow in their relationship, sometimes in spite of my leadership. My encouragement to you is to find what works for your family, be consistent working that plan and allow God to open doors of opportunity. Whether you have your family worship time in the evening or the morning, just maintain consistency. God will provide those teachable moments - so don’t miss them.

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