Family Shepherding- Corporate Worship as a Spiritual Discipline (Part 1)

A few weeks ago we began implementing Corporate Family Worship on the last Sunday of the month. (We already cancel age-graded ministries on the last Wednesday Night of the month for Family Worship.) Specifically, this is where our Kindergarden-6th grade worship alongside their parents in Corporate Worship. Personally, this is a good balance that allows us to practice family corporate worship and age graded ministries side by side.

Here are a couple of reasons for Family Worship:

1. It promotes biblical discipleship in the home (Family Shepherding).

2. It engages families in discipline of corporate worship.

3. It helps balance the drift churches have to become program oriented.

Included here in Part 1 are the notes from the Family Devotion time and schedule from our first Sunday Family Worship Service. I will post the essentials of Corporate Shepherding in Part 2.

This will probable generate more questions than answers so feel free to email me if I can offer more explanation george@lifepointsenatobia.com

Order of Worship:

Worship Through Song (15 min)

Family Devotion (15 min)

Dismiss (kindergarden-2)

Worship (10 min)

Sermon (30 min)

Invitation/Response (5 min)

Family Devotion Notes: (At the end of the Family Devotion time during our service, heads of households lead their family in reading and response)

Ephesians 6:1–4 (ESV)
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

I. Instruction to  Children. (1-3)

Ephesians 6:1–4 (ESV)
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Obey has to do with action, and honor has to do with attitude. “Obedience is doing exactly what God say’s, when He say’s it, with the right heart attitude.”

a. God’s desire’s is obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22 (ESV) 22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

1 John 2:3 (ESV) 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

b. God’s desire is honor.

Honor is the attitude behind the act. The act is obedience, and honor is the attitude. Remember that an act without the proper attitude is hypocrisy. If you do what your parents tell you to do but you hate it and you’re unwilling and nasty about it, then you’re a hypocrite. If you do what your parents tell you to do but you’re bitter, fearful, reluctant, and selfish, that’s not the right spirit. God is after the attitude much more than He’s after the act, because if the attitude is right, the act will follow. But a right act with a wrong attitude is nothing but hypocrisy.

c. God’s promise for obedience.

Exodus 20:12 (ESV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

II.Instruction to Parents. (4)

The Warning:

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 (ESV) 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

How do your provoke your Children?
1. Overprotection (mothering or smothering)
2. Favoritism (blended homes)
3. Pushing Achievement (vicarious living)
4. Discouragement
5. Failure to allow for Childishness
6. Neglect
7. Withdrawing love
8. Cruel Physical Punishment

The Command:

a. The principle of diligence. “Bring Up”
To bring up children is a scriptural phrase that implies a serious responsibility for their spiritual, moral, mental, and physical well-being. This is a very encompassing term. In fact, in Ephesians 5:29, when Paul was speaking to the same group of people, he said: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” The word nourish there is the same word for “to bring up.”

b. The principle of discipline.
Nurture means correction. It is the same word used in Hebrews 12:6, where the writer says, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens.” Nurture and chasten are the same word. So the Bible says there are times when we need to discipline our children. We need to chasten them.

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About George Ross

I am a pastor, church planter, husband, and father of four.
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