I remember a youth pastor friend of mine showing me his church’s brand new family ministry resource center. You could tell that they had invested plenty of time and money in making this center a quality offering to their members. As I looked through the books and pamphlets, my heart rejoiced to see so many titles that I recognized. Seeing tangible expressions of the family ministry movement in local churches just gets me excited! Though I recognized many of the resources, one book caught my attention. It was Terry L. Johnson’s “The Family Worship Book.” After looking through the table of contents, I asked my friend if I could purchase the copy from the church. He then graciously gave it to me and I’m thankful he did!
This book is saturated in Scripture and Church History (two of my favorite elements of a good ministry book!) As always, it was very difficult to select only five 5 quotes, but here are some that particularly stood out to me:
- “For generations it was understood that the Sabbath was made for man, for man’s benefit (Mk 2:27,28). But once again we have become too clever for our own good. We have crammed our schedules full of activity seven days a week. We have lost our Sabbath rest in the process.” (7)
- “If the consequence of the proliferation of Christian meetings has been the neglect of family worship, then the net spiritual effect of those meetings has been negative.” (9)
- “For generations outstanding Protestant devotional writers, from Richard Baxter to Matthew Henry to Philip Dodderidge to Charles Spurgeon, have vigorously promoted it (family worship). We would be wise to heed and foolish to ignore their council.” (16)
- “Remember, there is nothing to getting started like actually getting started. Doesn’t sound helpful? We’re making a point–like everything else that is valuable but requires discipline and sacrifice (losing weight, stopping drinking, getting an education, staying married, attending worship services), it comes down to doing it. Start! Do it!” (17)
- “Persevere. If you miss once, don’t despair, but don’t miss twice, either. Persist and your routine will become routine!” (17)
One of the coolest things about this book is that it provides many tools for families to use in their family worship sessions. The book primarily targets Presbyterian congregants but other denominations would benefit from the Creeds, confessions, suggested Scripture passages, historical family worship guides, hymns, and more. The book is very practical and refreshing in that the author does not seem to apologize for insisting on the importance of family worship. His tone is one of authority, and I feel that more family ministry advocates would do well to be more assertive in their insistence that the discipline is desperately needed in the life of Christian families.
May God bless you as you continue to seek to best disciple the children He has given you!