Equipping The Generations: The Family Together In God’s Presence -- By: John Piper
JDFM 3:1 (Fall 2012) p. 86
Equipping The Generations:
The Family Together In
John Piper (D.Theol., University of Munich) is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. For six years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than forty books; more than thirty years of his preaching and teaching is available free of charge at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.
Reprinted from DesiringGod.org. Used by permission.
God-centered worship is supremely important in the life of our church. We approach the Sunday morning worship hour with great seriousness and earnestness and expectancy. We try to banish all that is flippant or trivial or chatty.
Not all services are this way. Sunday morning is the Mount of Transfiguration—the awesome place of glory and speechlessness. Sunday or Wednesday evening is the Mount of Olives—the familiar spot for conversation with the Lord and each other.
In this article, we hope to do two things: (1) demonstrate that parents (or some responsible adult) should bring little children to the Sunday morning worship service rather than send them to a “children’s church,” and (2) give some practical advice about how to do it.
We don’t claim that our way of worshiping is the only valid way. Not all our ideas may fit with the way another church does it.
For example, we don’t have a children’s sermon as part of our Sunday morning service. It would be fun for the children, but in the long run would weaken the spiritual intensity of our worship. To everything there is a season. And we believe that, for at least one hour a week, we should sustain a maximum intensity of moving reverence.
The Biggest Stumbling Block
There are several reasons why we urge parents to bring their children to worship. But these arguments will not carry much weight with parents who do not love to worship God.
The greatest stumbling block for children in worship is that their 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. You can’t impart what you don’t possess.
Worshiping together counters the contemporary fragmentation of families. Hectic American life leaves little time for significant togetherness. It is hard to overestimate the good influence of families doing valuable things tog...
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