Family Worship and the Southern Baptist Convention

Zac HicksWorship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition of Christianity, and I am perpetually thankful for and appreciative of the heritage of evangelical faith passed on to me there.  Matt Boswell, a Texas worship leader I respect and admire, pointed me to this beautiful statement on family worship presented at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in 2010.  It certainly challenges me to up my game of worship leading in my own home.  Here it is in complete form, but you can also download a one-page PDF.

(The surprising thing to me is that “family worship” is a discussion I usually see take place in Christian traditions where covenant theology is more at the fore [e.g. Reformed and Presbyterian traditions].  This, to me, is evidence of increased conversations happening across denominations for the mutual benefit of the body of Christ. Rock.)

******

RESOLUTION ON FAMILY WORSHIP
Adopted by the Messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention in annual session on June 16, 2010 in Orlando, FL

WHEREAS, The Bible teaches the spiritual discipline of family worship for the glory of God, the strengthening of the church, and the spiritual nourishment of the family (Deuteronomy 6:1-18; Psalm 78:1-8; Ephesians 4-6); and

WHEREAS, Scripture pictures the Christian home as a place in which parents are instructed to teach and disciple their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:1-18; Ephesians 6:1-4); and

WHEREAS, Family worship has been a cherished Southern Baptist principle reflected in church covenants which have called believers “to maintain family and secret devotions” and “to religiously educate” their children; and

WHEREAS, In recent years, family worship has been emphasized in The Baptist Faith and Message, which states that “Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth”; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have launched major initiatives which have brought to the forefront the need for families to pray, read from the Bible, memorize scripture, and give praise to the Lord within their homes; and

WHEREAS, In 2009, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention included family worship as a key catalyst for a Great Commission resurgence calling on Southern Baptists “to build gospel-saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field”; and

WHEREAS, Family worship is integral to laying a foundation for multi-generational faithfulness to the gospel (Psalm 145:4) and a necessary complement for the strengthening of the local church to fulfill its commission (Matthew 28:18-20); and

WHEREAS, Family worship serves as an important preparation for the corporate worship of the local church on the Lord’s Day (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 10:25); and

WHEREAS, In recent generations, the act of family worship has been neglected, evidenced by the breakdown of the family in our time; and

WHEREAS, The embracing of the spiritual discipline of family worship in the Christian home has the capacity to nurture stronger families, a stronger church, and a stronger nation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, encourage churches and families to rekindle the spiritual discipline of family worship; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we define family worship as the regular meeting together of a family for a time of prayer and Bible reading, which may include other activities such as scripture memorization, singing spiritual songs and hymns, and discussing biblical truth and Christian mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage families to cultivate not only structured times of worship together, but also ongoing intentional and informal conversations about the things of the Lord; and be it further

RESOLVED, That as we call families and churches to embrace family worship, we urge fathers particularly to fulfill their divinely mandated responsibility to lead their families toward spiritual maturity (Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Colossians 3:19-21); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all parents to consider times of family worship to be an opportunity to introduce their children to the gospel, to train their children to seek the salvation of their friends and neighbors, and to pray for the nations; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches and families to make use of the many resources produced to aid in family worship; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and their pastors to promote family worship and encourage the families of their congregations to place the highest priority on embracing this foundational spiritual discipline for the well-being of families, the spread of the gospel, the making of disciples, and the glory of God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.