One of the great joys of church planting is the opportunity to start fresh and establish values in a new community without having to change old habits. When we started All Saints almost 5 years ago, one of those values we agreed we would hold in common was family worship. Amidst all the work required in a church plant, we have let this value go mostly unnoticed. However, during this strange season in which we are in our homes more than ever, the Session has recognized this oversight and is ready to correct it.
We’re excited, then, to share with you that in the coming days, we will unfold a new initiative at All Saints focused on encouraging and equipping you to engage in regular family worship in your home. A pastoral letter will go out in the next week or so giving more insight into the Session’s mind on this. We will also provide a worship guide as a resource for families who do not currently conduct family worship. The guide will be very simple— just prayer and Scripture reading. We’ll discuss how family worship is going in our shepherding groups, sharing our frustrations and our successes. Pastor Nathan and I will also schedule a Zoom meeting for anyone who would like to see it modeled. We will point you to additional resources to help you in this work. We will also create a new page on our website where all of these resources will be readily available.
For those who already have this practice firmly established in your homes, we hope you will actively encourage your brothers and sisters in the congregation, sharing with them what you’ve learned, how it has blessed you, and how to avoid discouragement when it doesn’t happen or goes poorly. We are not asking you to use our resources. By all means, please continue following your usual practice. We rejoice that you’ve established this practice in your home and look forward to the encouragement you have to offer.
We also recognize that our households all look very different. Some are single, some are married without children (or are empty nesters), some have older children in the home, and others have younger children. Lives are busy. Our encouragement and resources will take all of this into account.
To the heads of household, let me be clear: we are asking and encouraging you, for your good and the good of your family, to come alongside us in this work. Trust the Session. We know that for some, this will be a significant challenge. We believe it is worth it. We also confess to you that some of us in leadership will be starting this practice with you! So, we understand the challenges. This will require everyone—some more and some less—to reprioritize how the family spends its time. That’s both a challenge and one of the first benefits to be realized. Our goal is to have every household in our church engaged in regular family worship.
The official announcement and beginning of this new initiative will be coming this Sunday morning. We are so excited to finally integrate this value into the life of our church! May God bless all of our efforts, which are accomplished only as he grants them and by the power of his Spirit. May the Lord bless you, in each of your homes and families, as we draw closer to God and one another.
Your fellow servant of Christ,