Tuesday, August 23, 2005

BIG changes at Grace this Fall!

There are some significant changes happening here at Grace this Fall. Most of them center around our move to 3 services on September 25th.

(You do know we're moving to 3 services on September 25, right? As a staff we've been blown away by the many who still don't know when that's happening! We've tried to make it so clear.)

This Sunday, assuming baby #4 doesn't arrive, I plan to address to the topic of Family Worship head on. . . Why we're committed to it. . . . our vision for it here at Grace. . . and what its going to mean for you and your family!

I want to encourage you to be thinking and reading about this topic in anticipation of our time together. Here are some resources I have recommended in an earlier post, but I wanted to recommned them again before Sunday.

1. Children & Congregational Worship: This is an article written by my good friend, David Hegg, who was last year's Family Conference speaker. David has thought alot about this issue, and I like his balanced and practical approach. David's article is available on the Grace website at http://www.graceslo.org/grow/study-guides/default.asp

2. Bethlehem Baptist/John Piper Resources: It's easy for me to get "under the pile" when I look at some of the great materials John Piper and his team at Bethlehem Baptist have put together. I must remind myself that he's been at it there at Bethlehem for over 20 years. It takes time to develop this ministry philosophy stuff. Anyway they have put some excellent materials together on this issue of Family Worship. Check them out at http://www.bbcmpls.org/childsministries/

Here are a couple that I think are especially valuable. . . .


Suggestions for Helping Your Child Worship

Intergenerational teaching: Is it a nuisance or a blessing?

The Family: Together in God's Presence


Brian Wong said...

I'm excited that we're moving to three services. And I'm especially excited about what that means for me as a college student. (I hear we're moving to the 11:00 service which means we'll be able to attend the worship service, the college group, and still have time to participate in another ministry at Grace.)

Are you going to elaborate some more on the other "significant changes"? You mentioned that "most of them center around" the three services decision. I'd be interested to know what they are, if you can divulge them?

Suzette Lyons said...

If I've got it right the biggest change that will effect my family is that the 9:30 service will be the only service with Sunday School for children 1st grade and older. This will definately push the issue of family worship for those who want to serve or go to a Sunday Bible Study and attend the Worship Service.

We are hoping that it will be a blessing for our family. It will depend on how well our first grader adapts to the change. We would probably have put off having him in the Wordhip Service a year or two if it was up to us, but sometimes we need a push. I have been blessed in the past by challenges such as this.

Erika McGuire said...

Please don't feel "under the pile." I don't even think you should feel the need to have a specific philosophy of ministry in print for a lot of subjects. I think a general philophy is sometimes preferable to a detailed one. I read the links you had to articles for children in worship, and I was very encouraged. But truthfully, if you were writing down your particular ideas about the age and method for bringing children in the worship service, I would probably feel a little pressure to do things exactly the way you do. I love suggestions (that's why I'm reading your blog), but I get nervous when guidelines for churches become super-specific. Your friend, David Hegg, was wonderful to highlight that his philosophy was just a "studied opinion," even if it was sound insight. By simply acknowledging that, it quickly returns the joy of obeying God, and lifts the burden. You really have been so quick in the past to state things humbly, where they are not "written in stone." You point out often when there are multiple opinions on a subject, or when you feel you are still learning and growing in an area yourself. I think this is refreshing, encouraging, and even necessary for any pastor to do. So please keep doing this! Clearly I get a little nervous when churches start instructing too specifically how the Christian life should be lived out. Ironically, I happen to very much agree with having children in the service, and I'm very glad that you are speaking to this and encouraging it.

Andy Gibson said...

I don't know how you can make it any clearer that we are moving to three services, and that it will take everybody in the Grace family to participate and help the transition be smooth.

The push the last couple of months has been very strong, both by the leadership of the church to the congregation, and me personally by the Holy Spirit. I'm stepping up this fall (and so is my wife) into various ministries, and wanted to let you know that is has been because of your teachings and the work of the entire pastoral staff making their vision, but also their needs, fully known.

Don't fret, I learned from my teachers in college that you have to repeat everything FOUR times until it is really understood and sinks in. It will come with time, and I think the transition will be smooth, by the Grace of God. And I say that as a member that is still skeptical on three services, but I know God will cover it.