Lean in. We’ve heard it before. We’ve been asked to do it before. We’ve asked it of our congregation members before—to invest in our church and its ministries. We want them to seize the opportunities we have before us as a church and go for it.
Of course, staying home means we cannot worship corporately at church—which we are not supposed to give up (Hebrews 10:25). Of course, staying home also means fasting from the Lord’s Supper—of which we are to partake often for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of our faith. But staying home also brings with it the opportunity to be more diligent about worshiping as a family in our homes, which many of us have let slide under “ordinary” circumstances.
God has called each of us to lead our families in discipleship at home—to preach and teach the Bible to our family (Ephesians 6:4); to be a discipleship center (Genesis 18:19); to impress the hearts of the next generation with a love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5–7); to pass on faith (Psalm 78:1–8; Deuteronomy 32:44–47; Ephesians 6:4); and to teach spiritual lessons to our children (Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 7:1, Proverbs 23:23–26)—and this time of staying home allows us to do these things with greater intentionality.
At Redeemer, Jackson we as a congregation began looking at our role to worship at home as a family for a few months prior to the stay-home directive. We hosted Dr. P.C. Mathew from Urban India Ministries to learn about becoming missional families and one element of that is becoming worshiping families. We identified six areas that we can be utilizing to worship at home (these are put forward by Dr. Rob Rienow of Visionary Family Ministries)—Bible reading, singing, activities, catechism, discussion, and prayer—and we hosted a training to look at how we can be worshiping families. Unbeknownst to us, a pandemic was coming when we’d have the perfect opportunity to stop talking and start doing.
Families can now seize the opportunity and “Lead In.” Each week, families have resources to worship at home incorporating all six areas around the lectionary texts and allowing them to lead the faith conversations prior to each Sunday’s corporate worship service. The goal is to follow God’s design for discipleship happening at home first then being reinforced at church. Imagine families who previously didn’t know what to do together in the area of discipleship, jumping in together and worshiping regularly at home. Imagine families bonded as they could only be through the Word of God. Imagine kids during Sunday morning worship excitedly exclaiming, “My dad taught me about this!” “We did this in family worship!” “We talked about that this week!” Imagine adults already digging into the texts for Sunday and being all the more encouraged by what the pastor is preaching and teaching on those texts instead of entering “cold.” Could the stay home order teach us to be more biblical families? It certainly could!
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