Saturday, August 11, 2018

Why I Love My Church 4 - Family Worship

This Sunday, August 12, 2018, Stonepoint will be holding Family Worship at all worship services.

To explain how this is unique, let me give a little detail on our normal Sunday morning experience.  Stonepoint offers five worship services on Sunday mornings across two campuses.  Three in Wills Point and two in Edgewood as identified above. We do not generally have Sunday School as some would expect, but do offer classes for children under sixth grade (or under youth) during the worship hours.  This means parents and their young children are generally separated during the worship services.  For us, Avalyn and Jude get a double dose, hearing the same lesson twice as we volunteer at least one service and attend another.

Family Worship is a time when the kids are brought into "big church."  We will still have childcare for infants, but all other children's classes will not be meeting.  The goal is to bring families fully together to worship.  The amps are cranked up to eleven.  There may or may not be confetti cannons.  Beach balls will be bouncing about.  The music is pulled form what the children are learning in their classes (and for that reason Jamie is going to get to jump around on stage with the band instead of me this week).  And the message will be conveyed in a method geared toward reaching children and their families.

I find this particular Sunday important and impactful for a couple of reasons.

It's important that parents see and aid their children in worship.  "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6.  It's important for parents to see to their child's spiritual life.  To teach them the Word, to bring them into worship, and to lead and direct them.  We have wonderful teachers and volunteers in the children's ministry at Stonepoint, but we must remember that we as parents are that first line of education and reinforcement.  Family worship is a great way to see them in the worship service and to ease them into that transition as they are ready.

It's also important that children see their parents and other adults have joy in worship (and be a little silly).  "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."  Psalms 98:4.  It is vitally important that children observe joy and excitement in worship.  I understand the need for reverence and know its power in song and in word, but across the world we have way too many worship services that look like funeral services.  It can be ironic to have a time that is called praise and worship that seems to have very little outward praise.  We've seemingly conditioned ourselves to feel that outward expressions of joy and exuberance are to be avoided.  That solemnity should rule.  And that's a really hard barrier for kids to break.  This is what most often separates children out into kids church and big church.  We want "big church" to be quiet so the message is heard.  We want them to sit still and quiet, when their bodies and our bodies, were meant to dance, to jump, to shout, and to sing praises to our King.  We have way too much to be thankful for than to be silent all the time.  "I will not be silent, I will not be quiet anymore - Make a joyful noise to the Lord."  Our children need to see us being excited, being joyful, praising out loud, so they know it is acceptable and desirable for them to do so.  They are little sponges observing and taking in all we do.  We need to give them the best example in this area.

So, come join us.  Come dance for joy for what the Lord has done.  Come sing praises to his name at the top of your lungs.  It doesn't matter if you know the words or the tune.  It's called a "joyful noise" for a reason.

And if you are worried about looking silly, don't be.  We're all in this together and doing it for the best reason possible:  all for the glory of God.  This dates me, but I think of Undignified by David Crowder Band.

I will dance
I will sing
To be mad
For my King
Nothing Lord is hindering 
This passion in my soul

And I'll become
Even more undignified than this
Some would say it's foolishness
But I'll become
Even more undignified than this
Leave my pride by my side

It's all for You my Lord!

If you are looking for a church home, to find a place to truly connect and dig in deeper, you can find out more about Stonepoint here.

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