December 31, 2018, 3:00 PM

Together for Worship

     With the arrival of 2019 it is time for us as parents to think about the way we worship and how we are teaching our children to worship. On Sunday mornings our church gathers together at 10:55 for the purpose of worshiping our Holy God. During this time we sing songs of praise, lift up prayer, and participate in the reading and teaching of Scripture. During this time of worship not only do we gather together as a church, but we also join the worship that is already going on in heaven. The Bible gives us a glimpse of this worship in Revelation 4:8-11:    

    “Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop saying,

        Holy, holy, holy,

        Lord God, the Almighty,

        who was, who is,

        and who is to come.

    Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks, to the one seated on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say,

        Our Lord and God,

        you are worthy to receive

        glory and honor and power,

        because you have created

        all things

        and by your will

        they exist and were created.”

When we gather together as a church we get to join in with the heavenly beings who are worshiping God in Heaven! We should view our corporate worship as a joy and a blessing because we are able to gather together and worship God with the heavenly beings, and we should desire that our children view worship as a joy and a blessing. However, before they can understand the joy and blessings found in worshiping God they must be taught how to worship. God has given us as parents the responsibility and privilege to teach our children how to worship God and how to view the worship of God as a joy and a blessing. It is to us whom God has entrusted to teach the children he has blessed us with how to worship and enjoy God. The starting point for teaching our children how to worship God is us being in corporate worship together as a family.

    When our children start 1st grade we only have 627 Sundays before they go to college. That is only 627 times where our families can be in the presence of God with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ worshiping and praising God. From the start of 2nd grade we have 575 Sundays left, 3rd grade 522, 4th grade 470, 7th grade 313. The opportunities we have to worship with our kids, to sing praises to God, to see the testimony of baptism, and to hear from God as he speaks through the Pastor’s sermon are limited. As parents we must take advantage of the opportunities we have to instruct and guide our children in worshipping God. In order for us to teach our children how to truly worship God we must first understand for ourselves what it means to worship God. 

    The greatest influence on a child’s spiritual life is their parents. We can be the greatest encouragement or be the greatest hinderance and stumbling block. Often times parents view corporate worship as a time for them to hear from God, for them to be encouraged by the music, and for them to learn more about what the Bible says. This attitude and mindset is centered around what worship can do for us which is not truly worshiping God. True worship of God means our minds are centered around and focused on praising God for His greatness. It means that through our words our hearts are crying out about how holy, powerful, and worthy to receive all glory God is. It means we come with humble hearts and minds seeking not only to hear from but to be transformed by God so that we can obey and love Him more. True worship is centered around God not ourselves. As parents we must understand and believe this to be true because our children sense our attitudes during worship. During times of corporate worship our children know if we focus on ourselves or if we focus on truly worshiping God. Our children know whether we truly love worshipping God or whether we feel obligated to worship God. They can tell whether or not our worship is centered around God from our tone of voice during times of praise, from our body language, and from how much or how little we make corporate worship a priority for our family. We will never be able to pass down what we do not possess. If we do not possess a deep love and desire to truly worship God then how will our kids ever have a desire to worship God? Attention spans, reading ability, ability to focus, and comprehension of God’s word are all challenges children face when it comes to being a part of the corporate worship service, but none of these will hinder a child’s ability to worship God like a parent who is not in love with God and does not delight in true worship of our God. On the other hand, there will never be another person who can provide more encouragement or have more positive influence on a child than a parent who understands and participates in true God-centered worship. 

    I share this with you as a parent and a church staff member. As a parent one of the most exciting things for me is that I get to be a major part in leading and teaching my boys how to worship God. I have the privilege of teaching them the Bible, teaching them how to worship, and modeling for them what it means to live a life that is God-centered. I pray that one day I will also get to see them believe and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, see them baptized, and see them grow into men who love and worship God. 

    As a church staff member I have read about and can see the positive or negative influence parents have on the spiritual development of their kids. As a church we are committed to working with parents in connecting your children to God by cultivating their hearts to believe and trust in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. We desire to work alongside you in teaching and modeling what it means to love and worship God. I want to see all of our families truly loving and worshipping God. I am committed to equipping you as a parent to share the Bible with your children, guide your kids in worshipping God, and modeling for them what it means to live a God-centered life.

    I pray this will be an encouragement and challenge for you. The time your family spends in worship together is more valuable than anything else you can do. As your family worships together you are all engaged in praising God, in hearing from God, in seeing God work in your lives and the lives of others, and in being transformed by God so that you all might love and glorify Him even more. I believe worshiping God together as a family is the greatest thing a family can do, and I believe now is the time for us as parents to evaluate and make the necessary changes in how we worship God and how we are teaching our children to worship God so that we might better glorify God.

Tyler Porter

Children's Pastor