Principles of Family Worship

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-17), it was a wonderful time of ‘family worship’ – a large gathering of all ages having a great time with Jesus. When organising family services (or ‘all-age worship times’) you could apply the same principles that helped to make Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem a special occasion.

1 It Began with the ‘Organisers’ Hearing from Jesus

  • v1: Jesus sent two disciples.
  • v6: The disciples went and did as Jesus instructed.

2 There was an Appropriate Biblical Foundation for everything in the Programme

  • v4-5: What was happening fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, see your king comes to you gentle and riding on a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)

3 The ‘Worship Leaders’ had Prepared so that everything that was needed was there, and then they Led by Example

  • v7: “They brought the donkey and the colt.” “They placed their cloaks on them.”

4 There was Opportunity for a Variety of Active Participation by Everyone there

  • v8-9: “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him, and those that followed shouted.”

5 The Word of God was shared Concisely and in ways Relevant for the Situation

  • v9: They spoke of who Jesus is – Son of David, and what he came to do – Hosanna (save now).
  • v13: Jesus referred to Old Testament prophecy, “My house will be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of thieves.” (Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11)
  • v16: Jesus challenged the teachers of the law with Scripture. “Have you never heard ‘from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?” (Psalm 8:2)

6 The Focus of Everything was Clearly on Jesus and Led Others around to ask about Him

  • v10: The whole city was stirred and asked “who is this?”

7 Things not Appropriate for the Occasion were Shifted out of the Way!

  • v12-13: Jesus drove out those buying and selling and overturned the tables of the money changers.

8 Room was made for Prayer, and for Joyful Expressions from People of many Different Backgrounds

  • v13: Jesus removed the things that prevented it being “a house of prayer for all nations” and a place of “joy in my house of prayer.” (Isaiah 56:7)

9 Opportunity was Given for those in Need to be Ministered to

  • v14: The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

10 Children as part of the Congregation shared the experience of Jesus being with His People and they were Actively Involved

  • v15: The children were shouting in the temple area “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

11 The Contribution of the Children was Given its True Value

  • v16: Jesus said that what the children were doing came from their relationship with God. “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise, because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2)

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