"Worship is an ordered way of acting and living that sets us before God so He can transform us….it is a lifestyle. It is to permeate the daily fabric of our lives." Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline
Dr. Christopher Perrin is widely quoted in Classical Christian School circles defining education as “teaching children to love what is lovely.”
And what is more lovely than teaching our children to authentically worship God?
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalm 95:6
As a parent, there are so many things I want to teach my children. To be honest, I haven’t thought much about teaching my children how to worship beyond trying to get my rowdy boys to sit quiet in big church. I am intentional about teaching them math, manners, biblical truths, purity, navigating social media, dating, and even how to ride a bike.
Ashamedly, sitting quiet before the Lord in adoration of who He is hasn’t been on my priority list. Maybe it is because I am still learning it myself.
I am a part of a Moms in Prayer group. We meet every week to pray for our school, students, families, teachers, children, and each other. The prayer time is divided into four steps of prayer: praise, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession. As a group, everyone always struggles with the praise part. The idea is to praise God for who He is and not for what He has done. This is harder than it sounds. Thankfulness usually creeps into my praise and I am thanking God for answered prayers or blessings in my life. I mess it up every time. This focus on praise is intended to be an expression of worship. Worship is about adoring God. It is not about me. My fumbling through the praise part of Moms in Prayer structure is proof I need more practice with this worship thing.
Kathleen Chapman, author of Teaching Kids Authentic Worship, claims the mass exodus of young adults from our churches could be because they were never really taught to worship. Kathleen claims worship is the glue which will keep our young adults from walking away from the church. We are unintentionally teaching our children to consume church services instead of modeling a life style of true adoration of God. When we make church services and our lives about us and not about our creator, we forgo the enjoyment of the Lord.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with in expressible and glorious joy. 1 Peter 1:8
What if we taught our children to live a life of worship and to have a mindset of reverence to God in all they do? Taking out the trash is worship. Finishing the hard assignment is worship. Giving it all on the football field or theater stage is worship. The act of kindness to a grumpy peer is worship. Sitting individually before the Lord is worship. Gathering corporately with a body of believers is worship. Any offering of honor to God in activity or attitude is worship.
The Hebrew word for worship is "shahhah". It means “to prostrate oneself, to bow in homage, to do reverence.” As believers, we should be laying down our self in humble submission to God in all we do because He is the supreme creator of the universe.
Francois Fenelon writes, "Happy the soul which by a sincere, self-renunciation, holds itself ceaselessly in the hands of its Creator, ready to do everything, which He wishes; which never stops saying to itself a hundred times a day, 'Lord, what wouldst thou that I should do?' "
I don’t have all the answers on how to perfectly teach my children the real meaning of worship, but I do know it has to start with me. I challenge you to join me in a daily practice of sitting before the Lord in a quiet moment and worshiping Him for who He is while practicing being in the presence of the Lord all day long.
Our Rhetoric School Worship Ensemble will be leading us in a "Fade Away" worship night on Thursday, April 4th from 7:00 - 8:00 pm at the Village Church in Southlake. I hope you can join us!