"The key to understanding the Bible is to look for Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is the hero of the Bible. If you read the Bible and don't find Jesus, re-read it! The Bible has one hero, His name is Jesus; one villain, that is Satan; one problem, that is sin; one solution, that is salvation. That is what the Bible is all about." -Dr. Adrian Rogers

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bringing the Family Unit Back to the Church

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15

Recently I had a discussion with my mother about where the youth sit in our church. You see, in recent years, it has become commonplace in many churches to have a section somewhere in the sanctuary set aside specifically for the youth so that they can all sit together during the worship service. However, I have never been a proponent of this. When I was growing up, I always sat with my family, and I felt that everyone else should do the same. Back then, church was a family thing—families coming together to worship together. Now, I look around and I see groups, but they’re not families. You have the young people over here, the newlyweds over here, the singles over there, the middle-aged over there, the senior adults in that corner; it makes no sense whatsoever. The church talks about the breakdown of the family unit, yet I’m afraid that the church is one of the main causes. We must realize once again that families who worship together stay together.

Dale Evans once said, “I think big families are wonderful and together can withstand fire, flood, anything. We need more big families in this nation—where people band together in a common good.” That’s what the family was designed to be. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (emphasis added). What better way to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6) than in a family setting? We must bring back the family unit within the church.

I remember reading in Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s book A Love that Multiplies about a decision they made for their family early on about Sunday school. Being staunch believers in the family unit, Jim Bob and Michelle felt that it was imperative that they all worship together and learn together as a family. They learned that the pastor of their church taught a Sunday school class for the senior adults in the sanctuary of the church, so they approached him one Sunday to ask if it would be alright for their entire family to join the class so that they could all learn together as a family. The pastor agreed, and the entire Duggar family stayed in the class for years.

At first, I didn’t agree with the Duggars’ decision because I felt that each child could learn more in a class that was designed for his particular age group. After all, that is what Sunday school is all about, right? However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to see their point. It is good that you send your children to Sunday school, and it is equally as good that you see they make it to the worship service; but it is so much better when they can see you learning and worshiping right alongside them.

Whenever I think of something like this, my mind constantly goes back to an article written by my high school English teacher:

Furthermore, hymns are an enduring thread running through church history. Knowing that Christians throughout the centuries have sung the same rich songs should bind our hearts together and help transmit to our children and grandchildren the spiritual heritage that has been passed down more than 2,000 years. Martin Luther, St. Francis of Assisi, the Wesleys, Fanny Crosby — all are hymnwriters from various ages whose work is too rich to lose. We cannot allow the next generation to think that their faith exists alone!

Although I realize that we are not talking about hymns here, what she had to say about them is not completely off topic. It all boils down to her last sentence: “We cannot allow the next generation to think that their faith exists alone!” However, that’s the exact message we are sending to them when we allow ourselves to be segmented by age within the church. And they will continue to believe that they stand alone until we once again sit with them, stand with them, walk with them, talk with them, pray with them, worship with them, and grow with them together in the Word of God.

If you are here today and you have yet to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life, I invite you to do so today before it is eternally too late for you. If you will simply turn from all sin and trust Christ alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

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