If you are convinced that worshipping together as a family in church is important (like me),
and if you have a preacher who takes a doctrinal stance in his teaching that can be heavy at times as an adult, much less as a child (like me),
then you have probably wondered from time to time how to help your children understand and embrace the sermon (like me)!
I’ve recently began using this method for our family worship and have found it very helpful. I believe it would work for children of any age.
For our family worship on Monday, we review the sermon together.
First, we sing one of the songs that we sang in church the day before. This helps in a number of ways. It sets the tone for family worship, provides a connection between church and home, and invites the participation of our kids because they choose which song to sing.
Second, I ask general questions to begin jogging our memories. What was the title? text? three points? I follow up with questions like, “What does this word mean?” or “How does that point explain the scripture?” As answers (or blank stares) are given, I am able to clarify anything that was missed or needs further explanation in the sermon.
Third, I go to a deeper level, making sure we have understood the sermon and are seeking to apply God’s Word in our lives. So I ask questions like “What really stood out to you from the sermon?” or “How can we apply this point in a specific way in our lives?” or “How can we pray about this?” These questions help ensure understanding and allow for points of application.
Fourth, as we discuss the sermon, it gives me the opportunity to do what God has called me to do – disciple my children. It opens doors to teach, point out where God is working in our lives, where we need prayer and grace, how we can live for Christ and reach out to others, etc.
Fifth, we pray. I try to include praise for what God has taught us in my prayer. Again, hoping to take every moment as a teaching opportunity.
Whether this simple method or another, I encourage families and couples and singles to take the sermon home, mediate over the text, and seek ways the Spirit may apply the Word of God to our day to day lives.
May the Word of Christ dwell in us – richly!!