I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s giveaway includes TWO FREE REGISTRATIONS for LifeWay Worship’s “WorshipLife Gatlinburg Event in June of 2018.” This week’s post was written by Mike Harland who serves as the Director of Worship at LifeWay and is the best baller over 50 that I know.
We all love a ”win-win” situation. They happen when a single decision results in an outcome that benefits both sides. Everyone wins.
Recently, however, I heard about an emerging trend that feels like a “lose-lose” to me. In a meeting, a ministry leader shared the observation that in many churches the gap between participation in Bible study and participation in worship services is getting wider and wider. Historically, more people have gone to worship services than have attended Bible study. But this leader has observed that churches are having a more challenging time getting people to engage in both worship and a Bible study. Some families put their kids in a Bible study but Mom and Dad will only attend a worship service. And in my way of thinking, that’s a “lose-lose.” Let me explain.
Moms and dads lose because there are critical aspects of growth as a disciple that only occur in a community of believers in small groups. To be sure, individual Bible study and daily prayer and devotion are critical to maturity as a disciple. But, gathering with other believers who are studying the word of God together in a community of accountability and encouragement is absolutely essential to spiritual growth. People that only attend worship services miss this vital aspect of discipleship and in most cases, are not as engaged in the overall mission of the church.
The kids lose because they never experience worship and they never experience worship with their families. Their experiences in Bible study are vital to their growth just as their parents’ experiences are to them as parents. But we cannot forget the most impactful spiritual influence in a child’s life is not the class at church—it is the active faith of their parents. And, the most effective way for parents to help their child develop as a worshipper is to put that child next to them in a worship service and then engage fully in the experience of corporate worship themselves.
I observed many years ago that if the father of a family sang, the whole family would sing. If he prayed, they would pray. If he gave, they would give. Children follow parents.
The widening gap between worship services and Bible studies is a lose-lose. Mom and dad lose the community component of their spiritual growth and the kids lose the opportunity to learn the importance of worship from the most significant teachers they will ever have—their parents.
All of this is not to say that families coming to church for only one hour is a waste of time—it certainly is not. But, as leaders we must encourage families to aspire to more by helping them see the value of Bible study and worship and all the ways the whole family benefits from both.
WorshipLife is a one-of-a-kind worship gathering designed to inspire and equip worship leaders, their teams and other church leaders through times of worship and fellowship with renowned speakers and worship leaders, evening concerts with award-winning artists, choral reading sessions and premieres with multiple publishers, breakout sessions with experts and leaders in many facets of worship and much more.
Enter here or in the form below by 11:59pm tonight, Wednesday, September 6, 2017 for your chance to win 2 free registrations to WorshipLife Gatlinburg Event in June of 2018 which includes access to everything WorshipLife has to offer. Winners will be notified via email over the next several days.
You can begin to register for WorshipLife Gatlinburg 2018 on September 15, 2017.