Fathers: Begin by reading this book. That is, assuming you have first read The Word of God. At just over a hundred pages, you will not find a more accessible read that covers why it is a grace of God to lead your families in worship of the Triune God. You will not find a more readable book that shows why it is the family head’s role, that is ideally, the father. You will not find a more intriguing book that pulls from saints of old than A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home.
Jason Helopoulos, is Assistant Pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing Michigan. He practices what he preaches and is by no means the pro at this. Those were essentially the words of Kevin Deyoung who wrote the foreword and knows him personally.
I echo Jason’s intent with this book which is to show how delightful the joy and responsibility of family worship is. I have read, wrote, and taught more on this general subject than any other in my ministry,probably for the same reasons he wrote the book, there is simply a gaping hole in the modern Christian life of worship and it seems that ground zero is in the homes of Christian families. So I reviewed with some eagerness to find agreement, disagreement and generally just excitement that the topic was being addressed. It is not the sexy topic of extreme Christianity or radical discipleship that is storming the shelves these days, but I Helopoulos would agree that the most radical thing most Christian fathers could do these days is simply lead their families biblically.
In just over a hundred pages, Helopoulos makes the persuasive case that Scripture explicitly describes family worship as a means of grace that God so uses to extend His kingdom by passing on the knowledge of the glory of God from one generation to the next. In 9 chapters, he lays out who and what Christians are: worshipers in the three-fold senses of individual, corporate and family worshipers. He then goes on to explain why family worship is a joyful responsibility along with practical reasons to worship as a family which are biblical in themselves and comforts the weary heart who is questioning their ability, know-how or when life happens. He also lays out a few cautious words for those who might get the wrong idea of what family worship is.
Add that along with interspersing quotes from Richard Baxter, Jonathan Edwards, and Robert Murray-McCheyne and appendices full of excellent resources that I have used myself along with catechisms and creeds and now you have only three other things needed to get the ball rolling: Bible, family and The Holy Spirit.
I cannot recommend this enough. Sure I may not conduct family worship with the same liturgy or honestly I would probably use different catechisms more in line with my tradition, but those are minor quibbles. You can certainly get the jest and if you still have questions, by all means let me know!
A Neglected Grace is exactly what the title implies. A gift of God available for the taking and you would be wise to do just that.
a copy of this book was provided by Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.