Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Review: Our Home is Like a Little Church

Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY is graced to have many talented people in her body. There are artists, writers, singers, players, cookers, - so many.
What I really like about this one is it a simple reminder (complete with rhyming syntax, fun type, and creative characters) of what "worship-at-home" could look like.
Often, in this discussion of family worship, people ask "How do I do that?' There isn't anything you MUST do to have family worship or have to incorporate for it to be right. If you aren't singers, you don't have to sing. If you aren't into poetry, you don't have to have a reading time. Family Worship can start simply by just reading 10 verses, talking about it, and praying together as a family. Maybe that will take 10 minutes. Maybe you will do that once a month. Maybe you'll do it once a week. The simple equation: just do something. Maybe you are gifted at the guitar or piano or writing songs or creative motions - incorporate those. There is so much freedom in this concept of family worship. Maybe your children love to draw - show them how their drawings can be an act of worship - as they share with the family what God taught them through that practice.
Sojourn tries to remind parents that they should be taking the lead in family worship, that the Dad should be shepherding his family in this way (just as the Pastor would do at the church). An underlying theological truth that is hinted at is that male leadership is a right Biblical concept. This is stated in their goal of this book: "was written to teach preschool children the Christian truth evident...that the home is a little church where the father teaches his family God's commands and leads them to worship the one true God."
And in accomplishing this goal very well, Sojourn also puts forth the co-championing model of Family Worship: "God intended the home to be the front line of ministry to children - not the Sunday School or public church gathering ALONE." This is even intentional throughout the book as on one side of the page there is what we do in church and on the adjacent side if what we do at home.
One critique: this is more of a cultural one. Unfortunately, many marriages/families even within evangelical churches are lead by a single mother. Whether that is by divorce/separation/never present father/unwed teen moms/death - the reality is clear and present. The book is designed to appeal to "cookie cutter" Christian families. How does this work when given to a single Mom who is at her rope's end because her kids are driving her crazy with all the other demands of being a single parent? One way to use this would be to give it to her, but then do a couple things:
1. Pray (with her) that God would give her strength and grace to accomplish this task of raising her children and discipling them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
2. Pair her up with another Mom (single or married) who is leading well in this area.
3. Don't just send her on her way - make sure she is being cared for, loved on, and nurtured.

This book would be an excellent, inexpensive tool to share with new parents, or new parents in your preschool ministry at your church - about what you expect of them as parents and leading the way in Family Worship.

1 comment:

Joan Anne said...

Yes,you are right our home is like a little church wherein we could pray.

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