Get your Family Ready to Hear the Word of God on Sunday
Here are some practical steps to get your family ready to hear the Word of God on Sunday:
Familiarize your family with the sermon text before the preaching
If you can, familiarize your family with the scripture text the pastor is going to be preaching from. In our church our weekly Men’s Bible Study for this express purpose. We want our men to teach their families what the upcoming scripture text is all about BEFORE the pastor preaches on it. We meet early in the morning and discuss the text to get the meaning. We do this to help our men understand what the text is saying. Our desire is that everyone in the church will come to worship on Sunday already having reviewed the terminology, theology and the central message of the passage. We want them to work through it beforehand. We want them to arrive at some practical applications for their families.
Prepare your family to hear
Intentionally prepare your family to hear the sermon. Much has been written on “How to listen to a sermon.” Let me paraphrase George Whitefield’s instructions for hearing sermons: Come with a sincere desire to know your duty. Pray before, during, and after the sermon. Listen to the sermon as if you are listening to a king, as the “Lord of Lords” Himself. Why? Because ministers are sent from God. They are ambassadors who speak the words of God. Do not think poorly of the minister when you think of his weaknesses.
Cast a vision for the importance of the moment
It is critical that you impress” on your children the importance of the moment. God has always gathered His people together to worship Him. Coming to God’s house is a critical and holy and God-ordained moment. It is the most important meeting scheduled all week. Help your children see the priority and importance of the gatherings of God’s people to hear preaching. Help them sense the prioritization, the expectation and the privilege of the moment. If you sense they are like those who, “shrugged their shoulders and stiffened their necks and would not hear,” (Neh. 9:29), then snap into action to help them learn to appreciate it by your own zeal, instruction, and hands-on assistance.
Pray for the preacher before the church service.
Use this time to give thanks for the preacher and the preparation he has engaged in. Preaching is labor. Most of the time, it is hard labor – and often torturous. Most pastors languish and cry out to God into the late hours of the night before and the early hours of the morning. They feel profoundly inadequate. They desire with all their hearts to represent God and thereby be a blessing to their hearers. They need your prayers.
Help your family during the sermon
Get yourself ready to help them “receive with meekness the implanted word.” (James 1:21). They need help. Solomon says, “A child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). This is most critical when you have small children. In Luke 19:48, we observe a people “very attentive to hear Him.’ It is extremely important that you help your children learn how to hear sermons. Why? Hearing the Word of God is a matter of life and death. Faith comes by hearing.
This is an excerpt from a chapter in Scott Brown’s book he is writing for young families - Scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2020.
Scott T. Brown is the president of Church and Family Life and pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Scott graduated from California State University in Fullerton with a degree in History and received a Master of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology. He gives most of his time to local pastoral ministry, expository preaching, conferences on church and family reformation. Scott helps people think through the two greatest institutions God has provided — the church and the family.