Family worship. Just those two words make many to include myself feel like they aren’t good husbands. Do I have to pray every day and read the Bible with my family? A new book, A Neglected Grace Family Worship in the Christian Home by Pastor Jason Helopoulos, seeks to help Christians understand not only what family worship is but also how to engage in this vital aspect of family life.
One aspect of this book that readers will find refreshing is the author’s emphasis not on loading on the Gospel. One example of this is where Jason writes, “Dear Christian, as you read this book, be reminded that Christ is your joy and salvation. He delights in you, and family worship is yet another daily opportunity for us to delight in Him with those we most love in this life” (17). I don’t know if you’re like me but I find it is far too easy to feel guilty for not engaging in family worship. It’s easy then to make excuses and rehearse how you should be doing family worship but then never do it. After awhile, you are just excusing your behavior and making a list of justifications. Rather than taking this approach, the author, with great pastoral sensitivity and skill, encourages the reader to enjoy God with those we love through the avenue of family worship.
The other aspect of this book I enjoyed is how the author doesn’t let his reader off the hook to do nothing with what he teaches. A good pastor knows how to encourage God’s people to follow God’s plan for their lives as set forth in the Word of God. As I read this book, I felt like I was not only being shepherded to a better understanding of family worship. Conversely, reading this book felt like I was sitting in on a pastoral care session Jason might have with a husband and a wife.
Family worship is serious business in a culture where marriages are falling apart. I admit I’m not a perfect example of daily engaging in family worship consisting of praying and reading the Bible with my wife, but in reading this book I’ve come to realize that while I’ve failed in the past I don’t have to continue down that path of inaction. I can lead my wife closer to Jesus because of the grace of God. This is exactly what family worship is all about, the process of leading our families to grow in grace and to reflect His love towards one another. In essence, through the practice of family worship we are growing deeper in love with Jesus and with one another. This is why family worship is so important in a culture where marriages are falling apart. This is also why Neglected Grace is such a good book because it not only shows the beauty and glory of Christ, but also how to properly love one another in our homes. I highly recommend this book regardless of whether you are a single mother, husband, wife, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, or cousin. This is a book I will return to often to be reminded of the precious truth and glorious expression of the Christian faith found in family worship.
Author: Jason Helopoulos
Publisher: Christian Focus (2013)
I received this for free from Christian Focus for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” –