As a child, I remember thinking that no hour passed so slowly as the one that passed between the call to worship and the benediction. When I got my first watch, it seemed to sputter and stall and stand stock still during the last 10 minutes of the sermon as the preacher would “continue to close.” The fidgeties kicked in and my legs seemed to swing on their own and kick the pew in front of me involuntarily attracting the unwanted and sharp gaze of my father. Learning to be still and attentive in church was a challenge.
One of our core values at River City Reformed Church is multi-generational ministry in which all ages study, worship, fellowship and enjoy life together. We are a family of families worshiping together. We are teaching our children to worship as they worship with us. Yet, we realize what a challenge this can be, especially for parents with several young children or children that are not used to being in worship. But learning to behave and be attentive is a process that does not begin with the call to worship and end with the benediction. It is learned by living life together as families and as the church. And, not surprisingly, learning to behave in church is not a problem just for children. Often grownups need more instruction and training in this than little ones.
The New Testament includes several letters from the apostles addressing the scandals, heresies, and divisions that rocked various fledgling congregations. These troubleshooting epistles are critical for us, because our scandals, heresies and divisions are not novel. As Solomon well noted, there is nothing new under the sun. Be we also need careful, proactive instruction in how we are supposed to behave as God’s household, the church. A principle of parenting that has served our family well is that the most effective instruction is given in periods of non-conflict.
To this end, the Holy Spirit has given us three little letters from the apostle Paul – 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus – often styled, the Pastoral Epistles. In these letters, the Lord instructs us in how we are to behave in church as we live in the household of God. Join us this Lord’s Day, August 12, as we examine 1 Timothy 1 and begin to consider what the Bible teaches us about living life together in God’s household. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.