At the last prayer service, Psalm 18 was shared and we were encouraged by how King David enjoyed the presence of God in various episodes of his journey with the Almighty God.
On the LORD’s day, as we approach the morning worship hour with great seriousness and earnestness and expectancy. We try to banish all that is trivial or flippant.
In this extract article from writer and pastor, John Piper, we will give some practical advice about how to bring our children to the Sunday morning worship. The greatest stumbling block for children in worship is that we parents do not cherish the hour. Children can feel the difference between duty and delight. Therefore, the first and most important job of a parent is to fall in love with the worship of God. We can’t impart what we don’t possess.
For couple of years now, we have used the first Sunday of the month as a “Koinonia Sunday Service”. The desire was to allow and instil in us that the whole family come and worship together. Young and old! We started well but as the years went on, we see few children/teens coming together with their parents.
There is a sense of solemnity and awe which children should experience in the presence of God. A deep sense of the unknown and the mysterious can rise in the soul of a sensitive child in solemn worship. A deep moving of the magnificence of God can come to the young, tender heart through certain moments of great hymns or authoritative preaching. These are immeasurable value in the cultivation of a heart that fears and loves God.
Preparation All Week Long: Our anticipation and conversation before and after service and during the week will be important in helping our child learn to love worship and behave well in service. Talk about who the worship leaders are; call them by name. If you know the what the Scripture passage will be coming for the coming Sunday, read it together several times during the week. There are two additional and important pre-service preparations for ourselves: a pen and a notepad for “Sunday notes” and a trip to the rest room (leaving the service is highly discouraged).
The following are some of Pastor Piper’s advice as we come into the presence of God, in one family:
- Sit or stand or close eyes when the service calls for it.
- Sit up straight. Not lounging or fidgeting, but respectful toward God and the worshippers around you.
- Keep bulletin papers aside till end of service.
- Stay awake. Taking notes helps.
We want to encourage a strong and family oriented worship on the Lord’s day. The setting of the tight family circle focusing toward God will be a nonverbal picture growing richer and richer in the child’s mind and heart as he or she matures in appreciation of his or her family and in awe at the greatness of God.
Elder Andrew Lim
(With permission. Extract from “The Family: Together in God’s Presence”)