Rhythms are the shaping forces of the family. Think for a minute about yours. Dinners together during the week. Holiday traditions at a certain destination. Friday night game night. Date nights between husband and wife. Camping trips. These are just a few more common family traditions to which I'm sure you can add some. These rhythms aren't just fun things families do together they also serve to remind each member of the family what is important—togetherness, meals, marking transitions, romance, nature, fun, and laughter.
Now let's do a little reverse engineering. As a Christian, one of your goals is to grow in your love of God (Deut 6:4-5). As a member of a Christian family you serve the other folks in our family by encouraging them to grow in their love for God as well. If that then is the main goal of your family how then do your family traditions and rhythms encourage a love for God? There are many things that you could do as a family to grow in your love for God but the biggest (and possibly easiest) is to enjoy church together. Notice I didn't say "go to" church together. I want more than that for you. I want you to enjoy church together.
This isn't as easy as it sounds. So many things can derail enjoyment on a Sunday morning. A child can throw a fit. Husband and wife can allow a conflict to go the whole week without reconciliation making it really difficult to worship together on Sunday morning. Songs can be mumbled through. Any member of the family can serve roast preacher for lunch.
So what would it look like if each member of the family (no matter what kind of life stage that family is in) purposed to enjoy attending church and helped make church enjoyable for the other members of their family? Here are some ideas...
- Make your home kind and joyous on Sunday mornings. This should be a task for every day but especially before big events like the weekly worship of God.
- Sing loudly. The folks you'll worship closest to for most of your life is your family. How reinforcing would it be if you and your family encouraged one another each Sunday by singing loudly to God's glory (Eph 5:19).
- Demonstrate humility and forgiveness. Make sure you don't miss this. I'm not arguing that we clean ourselves up and try real hard to do worship real good on Sunday in the hopes that God returns the favor with blessing. Living before your family with humility and forgiveness, giving and receiving grace, commends the God of grace to whom we come and worship on Sunday's.
- Share what you're learning. Did you learn something knew about God during some portion of the worship service? If so, share it. Growth in godliness is contagious.
- Encourage your family members. Take time to point out what God is doing in your family members, especially as they grow as church members. Where do your family members serve in the church? Encourage them that their investment in worthwhile.
The church is where we grow and thrive as individuals and families. So many families plan for summer vacation but don't plan for how they will enjoy, weekly, worship with God's people. Where do you need to hear God's forgiveness in Christ in this area? Where do you need to make changes no matter where you fit in your family?
A Note to Singles - You might be single and not a part of an immediate family with whom you worship. You still have a chance to enjoy worship with forethought each Sunday and so encourage your church family and friends. It is also the best way to prepare for the possibility of marriage and a family later in life.
- Praying for Jeff Stables - Continue to pray for Jeff Stables. Becca has recently updated their blog about their hopes to be in Virginia soon.
- Community Groups - Community groups have begun. Would you like to still join one? Get in touch with Joe Holland, Ted Smith, John Orr, or Derek McFarland if you do.
- Incorporation - Christ Covenant is in the final stages of the incorporation process. If you're a member and haven't received a digital copy or hardcopy of our proposed constitution and bylaws makes sure you get in touch with an elder.