Chapters 23-27 of 1 Chronicles is probably not one of your favorite passages of Scripture. It is filled with names, numbers, lists and, to be honest, quite a bit of repetition. You may find yourself skimming it, waiting for it to “get good.” But all of the Bible is good and if we skim over chapters such as these, we may miss a word that God would like to share with us.
These chapters show us the importance and centrality of something that has been lost in the modern Christian church: family service.
Today’s model of church is one of consumerism. We go to get. This consumer-driven model has driven churches to make programs and ministries to fit every age group. While this model has served to engage individuals, it does not serve to engage families as a unit. We walk in the door and early elementary aged children are ushered to Children’s Church, teens leave their families to huddle together in the back and adults sit in their familiar groupings of self-assigned seats week after week.
But if we look to Scripture, this model is nowhere to be found. In 1 Chronicles we see families serving together, using their unique gifts to serve the Lord and His people. Some of the ways they served together included:
- Performing ceremonies (23:28)
- Making food (23:29)
- Worshipping through music (25:1)
- Managing the facility (26:1-19)
- Managing money (26:22)
Duties were assigned to families, not individuals. They worked as a team. Let’s take a closer look at one key verse:
They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord, and each of them—288 in all—was an accomplished musician. The musicians were appointed to their term of service by means of sacred lots, without regard to whether they were young or old, teacher or student. 1 Chronicles 25:7-8 (NLT)
They were able to serve together because they had trained together. If we want to serve God as a family, we need to take the time to identify our talents and interests and work on developing them as a family, regardless of age or degree of ability. Take some time today to look for common interests and talents among your family members. Maybe there is interest but limited ability. Focus on developing those gifts with a heart to serve the Lord.
And remember, your family can serve God in a variety of ways whether it be the body of Christ or the community at large. Service doesn’t have to be relegated to Sunday morning.
Here are some ways to serve the Lord together as a family:
- Do you like to cook together? Make pies and delivering them to your local senior center.
- Do you like to be outdoors? Offer to rake or shovel for single parents in your neighborhood.
- Does your family like to work with their hands? Ask if there are any rooms in your church that need a fresh coat of paint.
- Do you all enjoy being creative? Design and make a banner with Bible verses for your church foyer or sanctuary.
- Do you have prayer warriors in your family? Ask to start a intercessory prayer group at your church.
Check out this website for some more great ideas on how to serve together as a family this Christmas season.
But let’s not keep it confined to the holiday season. Let’s find ways to serve together all year long.
[photo credit: jclk8888 from morguefile.com]