A Neglected Grace | Family Worship in the Christian Home
An Interview with Jason Helopoulos on Family Worship | Ed Stetzer & Jason Helopoulos
As Christian parents, Donna and I have a responsibility to teach the gospel to our daughters. If you are a parent, you have that same responsibility with your children. The problem comes when parents entrust the church or children’s ministry to do this for them. Discipling your children is a daily task that should happen at home AND at church, not one that can be done in an hour or two of programming each week.
That’s why I’m encouraged to see a growing emphasis on family worship—and resources to promote the practice. Jason Helopoulos has written A Neglected Grace, a helpful new book on the practice, and graciously answered some questions for the blog.
How does family worship help teach children the gospel rather than just religion?
As we think about the difference between the gospel and mere religion, it is not that we obey and therefore are accepted, but are accepted and therefore obey. Maybe one of the greatest challenges in parenting is the temptation to raise our children to be religiously-minded little moralists. We want well-behaved children. Children that say, “yes sir,” “thank you,” and “please.” But as Christian parents, this isn’t enough. Our greatest desire for our children has to be that they know God, what He has done for us in the person of His Son, and be gripped by that truth.
Family worship provides one of the greatest contexts in which we can teach this reality to our children. They will see and hear the story of redemption unfolded each night as we read the Scriptures. They will hear this truth in song and confess it as they sing. Our prayers will testify to it. And that story is one of God’s acting on our behalf. As we read the Scriptures, pray, and sing, our families will continually be reminded of who God is and what He has done.
What are the practical benefits of family worship?
For the sake of brevity, let me note just two practical benefits that I most consistently hear from families, who practice family worship. The first is that it centers the home upon Christ. All of our homes are centered upon something. We may not know it or recognize it, but nevertheless, it is there. If we are Christians, it should be Christ. And daily family worship shapes our orientation and provides a continual reminder that we are worshippers of the risen Savior. The second is that it encourages our children in Christ. They will see from Mom and Dad that worship is not just something they do on Sunday mornings. It is something that is at the very core of their being and frames every day and every sphere of their lives.
How can a pastor help promote the practice of family worship in his church?
First, we would want to encourage pastors to practice family worship in their own homes. This isn’t a given. In fact, it is as much a struggle for most pastors as it is for the person in the pew.
Read the rest of the article here: A Neglected Grace | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer.
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November 27, 2013A Neglected Grace | Family Worship in the Christian Home