There’s something really beautiful about gathering with family and worshiping together. Growing up, I remember sitting in “big church” with my parents every Sunday. I was raised in a very small church in a small town, and we didn’t have the staff or resources to do separate programs for children. So each Sunday our family of five filled a pew. I sang songs I didn’t fully understand. I listened to sermons and Scripture readings that went a bit over my head. I watched my parents worship. I watched kids older than me sing loudly and passionately to the Lord. I even remember holding a woman’s baby so she could help her husband serve the Lord’s Supper.
I knew these people. They were my family. Even now when I go back to my hometown, I step in those doors and feel like I never left.
At The Village, Family Worship Weekend is an opportunity to see our church family at its finest. This weekend has become one of my favorites, both corporately and personally. Corporately, I get to see everyone in their most natural state—mothers with crying babies, dads with preschoolers hanging on their legs, and then there’s the noise. The crying and talking, and even whining, remind me that this is family. It’s unfiltered and it’s beautiful.
Personally, my husband and I have found Family Worship Weekend to be very helpful for our children. It’s a chance for them to watch us worship. They ask us lots of questions about what they saw, learned and misunderstood. Now that my daughter is in middle school, we see the benefits of previously having her in worship services with us. Now she understands the flow of worship better and knows what’s expected. We have great conversations about the purpose of the Sunday gathering and the reasons for the Lord’s Supper, music and preaching.
My encouragement to us all during this Family Worship Weekend is to savor. Listen to the extra noises. Watch the children running around. Allow your heart to be blessed by the untidiness and unpredictability that is family. Let us think of it not as a distraction but as something that endears us to each other. And let us be so grateful for those who preach the gospel to our children week in and week out while we sit in “big church.” They understand well the opportunity and privilege of training children to worship. May the same be said of us as we gather from largest to smallest.