At Midway we love to see families worshiping together with the church body on the Lord’s Day. We see children as a blessing from the Lord and thus consider their presence in corporate worship a sign that God has blessed the families and body of believers at Midway. We encourage families to stay together for worship (as well as other events at Midway) vocally and through providing resources to help make worshiping together as a family with the body an edifying and enjoyable process. If you find this idea appealing but you are not sure how to get started or you want to get some new ideas on helping your family worship together please take a look at this very helpful post.
In Malachi 2:13-16 the Lord rebukes Israel for being unfaithful in their marriage relationships. I doing so the prophet asks what God was seeking in bringing a man and woman together in marriage. The answer may surprise you: “Godly offspring” (vs. 15). Knowing that God intends for His people to produce Godly offspring we must ask ourselves how we can honor His desire. One of the most powerful tools of the Holy Sprit to accomplish the Lord’s aim in this regard is the regular coming together of families to worship the Lord in the context of their home. If this sounds foreign or difficult to you let me encourage you to read this series of articles from Ligonier Ministries. In it you will find a very simple model of family worship that can be started right away. If you would like to read more encouragement on this subject click here. For a more thorough examination of how your family worships together at home and church we recommend this five video series from the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches. Parents can also find some practical steps to shepherding their children in this post from the Midway blog.
One of the ways Midway Baptist works to help parents raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is to promote the practice of catechism. If you aren’t familiar with the practice, catechism is a time-tested and simple way for teaching the content of Scripture. If you read 1 Corinthians 14:19, Galatians 6:6, and Acts 18:25 you will see various forms of the English word “instruct” repeated. In each of those verses the Greek word for “instruct” (or “teach”) is katecheo. It is from this word we get our English word “catechize.” Generally speaking, catechisms will follow a simple question and answer format that is designed to be memorized.
While catechisms are useful to both adults and children we have put a special emphasis on encouraging the practice in our families with young children, particularly during our times of corporate family worship. Truth transforms and the Holy Spirit makes use of the good content we place within our children’s minds through catechism.
If you would like to see a copy of the catechism we use you can download it HERE (requires the free program Adobe Reader). If you would like to know more about whycatechizing children is important click HERE. For the church history fan HERE is more information about how Baptists have used catechism through the centuries. Finally, HERE you can find a long list of Baptist catechisms (dating to 1652!) or Charles Spurgeon’s catechism HERE.