- Life on Target | Church: You’re All In or Not In At All
- Life on Target | Straight Talk for Dads (with Pastor Toby Sumpter)
What it Means to “Run the Plays”
It’s a fact that it’s a challenge for children to engage respectfully and quietly during the Sunday morning service. However, through my own experience with my five kids, as well as conversations with older, wiser families in my church, I’m learning that this is a behavior and a posture that can be taught—and it begins at home.
Regular family worship is the place where you can “run the plays,” Which essentially means teaching your kids to behave honorably during worship, before even stepping foot in church. Just as we don’t expect our kids to know how to play a sport without practicing, we can’t expect them to behave well in church without running the plays at home.
Family Worship at My House
At my house, I try to lead family worship at least four nights a week, as we are at typically at church for evening worship two nights each week. Our family worship happens before dinner, and it falls a very simple liturgy (it doesn’t need to be complicated):
- Read some Scripture
- Worship by singing together
- Pray together
Family worship is the time to teach your children how to sit still, how to pay attention to God’s word, and how to participate in worship in an honorable way.
If you are a dad, I encourage you to begin leading in this area. Take ownership of this responsibility in your life And actively seek to lead in the spiritual formation of your family. Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be long (or worship is about 10 minutes), But it should happen throughout week. The verse that I like to think about is Deuteronomy 6:7:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.—Deuteronomy 6:7
How can we claim that we are focusing on God in our families if we are not regularly worshipping together?
I am still learning how to leave this area, and I know that I have room to grow. I’m interested in Hey practices that I’ll have learned that I’ve been successful. You can reach me on social media. I’d like to keep this discussion going as we seek to fulfill Proverbs 22:6 together:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.—Proverbs 22:6