“LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME AND DO NOT HINDER THEM, FOR TO SUCH BELONGS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” MATTHEW 19:14
First of all, have you checked out our weekly Family Worship Devotionals yet? Check them out here. Secondly, check out the Family Worship Devotional Guide here.
Now that you are more familiar with the Family Worship Devotional (FWD) and the philosophy and methodology that grounds it, this post will mainly go into how we feel it serves the 6 goals of Family Ministry at KBC, explained in the 2nd post of this blog (that’s the last hyperlink, but no promises).
To provide children with a faithful testimony of life with God in the lives of their parents and church members
As we mentioned in the devotional guide, we adults often hear the sermon on Sunday and don’t meditate on it throughout the week. The busy-ness of life can distract us from meditating on the Word and intentionally applying what we've heard. The FWD is meant to serve you, giving you reminders of what you heard on Sunday and ways to think about how to practically apply the Word to your life. By doing this, we grow in knowing God, confessing and repenting of sin, trusting and treasuring the work of Christ, submitting to and obeying His Word, thus providing our children and other members’ children with a faithful testimony of life with God. This devotional is not just for children, it is for all of us.
To acknowledge, train, and hold accountable parents and primary caregivers as the primary disciple-makers in their children’s lives
Perhaps, you don’t know how to disciple your children. Maybe you know how but aren’t as consistent because you don’t have much time. We’ve created the FWD to be adaptable to fit your time constraints and the different seasons of life. We also pray it will help you disciple your children by teaching them basic Bible interpretation principles and by helping you counsel the issues of their heart towards truth.
To equip church members in caring well for families and children
The FWD is adapted from the sermon on the Sunday of that week. We want families and children to learn what all the members at KBC are learning on Sunday morning. It’s meant to help them meditate on the Word and to practically apply what they’re learning.
But how does this equip church members to care well for families and children? There are 2 ways this equips all members.
The material based on the sermon implies that our children remain in service for its entirety, even during the sermon. This means that our worship service may not be quiet and free of distractions. You may be sitting next to children who will talk, giggle, make silly noises, wave and smile at you, all while you are trying to listen to the sermon and take notes. You are being equipped in that moment to love, encourage, and bear the burden of your brother and sister as they disciple their children to hear the Word of God with the Body of Christ. You are given the opportunity to rejoice that this child is hearing the gospel preached. I mean, is that not amazing? We get to be a part of seeing the very command of Jesus in Matthew 19:14 being fulfilled. Take that time to pray for their souls. Tell the parents about how much you rejoice that their children are hearing the preaching of the Word. Model what it looks and sounds like to treasure the Word as it is preached and to sing with intentionality and zeal. They may look like they’re not listening or watching, but children observe more than we think they do.
This also equips all our members to speak specific words of encouragement to our families and children. You know the gospel truths and implications they are reckoning with every week since you, as well, are going through the FWD. “Parker, what ways have you been seeking God’s kingdom instead of yours this week? This is how Aunty has been seeking God’s kingdom this week.”
To share the gospel with children that the lost might be saved
Talking about the Bible and drawing out the hearts of our children will lead to moments for the gospel to be shared in very specific areas of their lives. These natural segues to the gospel are pointed out throughout the FWD.
To make disciples of all children who trust in Christ
As was said above, the FWD is structured to teach everyone who uses it how to study God’s Word and intentionally apply God’s Word in concrete ways. These are things that do not come naturally to us as believers. The FWD is a discipleship tool and we pray that it is helpful.
To prepare children to gather together well with the members of the local church
At KBC, we pray the gospel is both taught and caught. Our children, by being in the service, observe what life with God and in community looks and sounds like. They’re being taught how to meditate on the scripture they hear on Sunday. They’re having their hearts drawn out and counseled by their parents. These are what the FWD hopes to accomplish. This prepares them to be an active participant when the church gathers together.
Next week, we’ll talk about Small Groups, Sunday School, and Prayer Meetings and how they are part of the Family Ministry. In the meantime, here’s a link to our most recent FWD. It’s not too late to start! (I promise that was the last hyperlink.)