‘So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite. And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.’
(1 Chronicles 13:13-14 KJV)
Three months of the presence of God (ark of the covenant) were enough to fill Obededom’s house with the blessing of God.
I don’t know how many months the COVID-19 lockdown will last, but I am one of those who believe that the Lord allowed this situation to give us the opportunity to establish practices in our homes to attract his presence and thus unleash a greater blessing on both us and our children.
The three months’ experience of the people in Obededom’s house became a lifetime service. They were so affected that they became responsible for the porticoes of the temple, the nearest place possible to the ark (the presence of God) that an ordinary man (other than a priest) could be.
My prayer is that ultimately these practices will take root in your homes and fill them with blessings.
Let me share these practices with you – four examples of family routines. I will deal with the first of these in this blog post.
- Family worship
- Holy Communion
- Family evenings
- Sharing the Word of God
The ingredients that compose family worship are: praise and worship, teaching the Word, intercession and memorisation.
We need first to schedule a time and it is the job of the family head to ensure that the time is respected. Also, we need to have an agenda to follow so that we are not distracted.
All the people of the house must be present, including any servants, nephews, nieces or cousins who live in the house.
If we limit the worship to ourselves and our children, we leave an open door to the enemy, because others do not come under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Make it dynamic and enjoyable. Remember that there are children and take their presence into account.
Share the roles beforehand: MC, the worship leader, the preacher, the leader of intercession.
Let everyone have something to do and change roles often, from one session to another.
Allow the children to preach in turn, even if the preaching lasts only five or ten minutes depending on age. Expect God to speak to you through them.
Let them lead the intercession and pray for the subjects in turn. Even if their prayer is not very elaborate and only lasts 20 seconds, it is sometimes more powerful than our more beautiful, eloquent, long well-crafted prayers. Intercession must be an opportunity to pray aloud with each other, thus creating a strong connection.
Praise and worship should be a time to fix our eyes on God and connect our minds to him. Remember to remain silent after worship to listen to God and share the message of God. Depending on the age of the children it can sometimes be complicated but do not be rigorous, allow everyone to express their praise in their own way, while emphasising the focus on God. Allow dancing, playing instruments or beating the tables as a drum, let everyone express and praise.
The teaching must be suitable for the whole family, and must be varied, ranging from the classic exhortation, to activities leading to biblical teachings, or to a biblical sketch.
Allow everyone a chance to play the pastor, with an improvised desk, and listen carefully to the essentials of the message. You will probably need a range of activities to do this.
A family sketch consists of taking a biblical text with several actors, reading it together, then sharing roles to play it in the form of a scene. Then give each member the opportunity to share about the experience they have had and the lessons they have learned. We will end with a conclusion gathering all the lessons learned.
Remember to keep a memory verse and memorise it together, then post it around the house.
Jean Paul Dansou is the ICMDA Regional Representative for Francophone West Africa