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Obstacles to Family Worship: 9. Creation of Sunday School

Obstacles to Family Worship: 9. Creation of Sunday School

Obstacles to Family Worship: 9. Creation of Sunday School

Obstacles to Family Worship

9. Creation of Sunday School

Obstacles to Family Worship: 9. Creation of Sunday School

Instead of giving God a prominent place in our families’ daily lives, it seems that thoughts of God and learning about God have been isolated to only Sundays. As stated earlier, any training in the things of God has been consigned to the responsibility of churches rather than that of parents.

“During the 19th century as Sunday Schools began to be introduced in North America, resistance was encountered . . . Their argument? That as the Sunday school was established, it would result in parental neglect of their responsibility for the spiritual training of their children.”1

Terry Johnson, in his book on family worship, goes on to say that if the “meetings have caused the neglect of daily family worship then the net spiritual effect of those meetings has been negative.”2

“Protestantism has become all but silent on the issue of family worship, a near-universal practice in the recent past, and replaced it with meetings that take us out of the home and away from the family. Not only have we given up a proven method of transmitting the faith to the next generation, one that has a built-in format for Bible study, prayer, and singing, but we have done so for alternatives that add to our already hectic pace of life and take us away from our spouses, children and neighbors.”3

Can you imagine standing from the pulpit and saying: “Sunday school has had a negative impact on our congregation?”

It would be extremely difficult to remove Sunday school from most of our churches, and with the lack of parents who lead their families in daily family worship, the results could be catastrophic.

However, churches must try to see that Sunday school attendance is not the “end game.”; It can be good, but spiritual growth in the family does need to be a family and parental matter. Churches must train families on what family worship is and emphasize the need for it.

References

1. Terry L. Johnson, The Family Worship Book: A Resource Book for Family Devotions (Fearn, Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 1998), 8.
2. Ibid., 9.
3. James Montgomery Boice et al., Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship: Celebrating the Legacy of James Montgomery Boice (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub., 2003), 335.

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Obstacles to Family Worship: 8. Churches Are Not Emphasizing Family Worship

Obstacles to Family Worship: 8. Churches Are Not Emphasizing Family Worship

Obstacles to Family Worship: 8. Churches Are Not Emphasizing Family Worship

Obstacles to Family Worship

8. Churches Are Not Emphasizing Family Worship

Obstacles to Family Worship: 8. Churches Are Not Emphasizing Family Worship

Even though I have grown up in church and have been in ministry for 22 years, I had never heard of taking family worship this serious or being this consistent with it until studying the subject in seminary. This concept seems to be almost completely forgotten and neglected today. Not only has it been neglected and forgotten by family leaders, but church leaders, as well.

I have never heard family worship taught nor emphasized at any church that I have been involved in. Previous to being in local ministry, I traveled with a parachurch ministry for 15 years and worked with over 30 churches each year. Unfortunately, not in one single church did I ever encounter a teaching, a plan, or an emphasis on family worship.

I am amazed that something that was once considered crucial and foundational, later became peripheral, and now seems to have virtually vanished from our churches.

Parents have completely surrendered the reigns of spiritual development of their children, and sadly the churches have not called on the parents to take them back. Now, the only way that most Christians believe they can be fed spiritually is to enter into a church building on Sunday mornings.

Churches must cast the responsibility back to the individual and the family. Churches must promote family worship and make it common place, once again.


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Obstacles to Family Worship: 7. Reliance on the Church Only

Obstacles to Family Worship: 7. Reliance on the Church Only

Obstacles to Family Worship: 7. Reliance on the Church Only

Obstacles to Family Worship:

7. Reliance on the Church Only

Obstacles to Family Worship: 7. Reliance on the Church Only

Many families have given huge parts of their children’s upbringing to others. Education is now something that the state oversees. Many parents are, for the most part, hands-off in the education of their children. Unfortunately, their children’s spiritual growth is often treated the same way. They have consigned the church to oversee their children’s spiritual education.

Sadly, parents have become people who make money to support a family, but the other roles of education and the things of God are divvied out to others.

The concept of family worship is that the parents, not the church, are the first and primary ones in charge of training a child up in the ways of the Lord.

The church should play a role, but it was never designed to be the only place. The home was the primary training ground long before there was ever a church building.

This home training ground must be reclaimed.


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Obstacles to Family Worship: 6. Dumbing Down of Christianity

Obstacles to Family Worship: 6. Dumbing Down of Christianity

Obstacles to Family Worship: 6. Dumbing Down of Christianity

Obstacles to Family Worship

6. Dumbing Down of Christianity

Dumbing downthe deliberate diminishment of the intellectual level of the content of schooling and education.

Obstacles to Family Worship: 6. Dumbing Down of Christianity

The “Downgrade Controversy” of Charles Spurgeon’s day only seems to have gotten worse. All the precious doctrines of Christianity and all the wealth of the 66 books of the Bible often seems to be thought of as not important. All the details and doctrine of the Christian faith seem to have been reduced to an extreme minimum. So much so that the question becomes: “How small can the core of Christianity become and yet still contain enough information to be considered viable for true faith?”

Dumbing down and reducing Christianity causes believers to become lazy students of God’s Word. Before long, Christians assume they know all there is to know about the Bible even though they have only barely scratched the surface.

Christianity is not just a mystical religion that is based on feelings and the unknown. It does contain faith, but not a blind faith. It is rooted in faith and facts. Christianity does involve the intellect. It is the duty of ministers and parents to teach sound doctrine and the full council of God.

The amount of material that needs to be taught to our children will never be accomplished by one lesson per week in a Sunday School Class. Even two hours in church per week is really only about 20 minutes of actual Bible Study, at best.

Schools would not pass a child to the next level who only spent 20 minutes a week studying a textbook. Yet, for some reason, many Christians believe this is all it takes to learn everything there is to know about Christianity.

Timothy was Paul’s right-hand man. He had been raised with a great knowledge of the Word, yet Paul tells him, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. . . Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:13, 15-16).

Learning scripture is no small task. It should not be dumbed down just because ministers or parents have become lazy in the teaching of it.

The Bible remains a large book that requires serious study in order to truly learn its content. Churches and parents must teach the whole Word of God to ensure the well-balanced diet that brings spiritual maturity.

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