Sow a Habit...
Habits don't make someone a Christian. But when someone accepts God's free grace and crowns Jesus as Lord of their lives, it changes them. A new Jesus-like character begins to emerge. And that character is shaped as a believer establishes godly habits.
A habit is an action or activity that moves-
From the occasional to the regular
From the periphery to the centre
From the neglected to the cherished.
From the unnatural to the automatic
At the start of 2019, in our Church Family Focus slots on a Sunday, we're working through '5 good habits of a Christian family'. These are great habits for everyone. But we'll be unpacking what they look like for families in particular.
Good Habit number 1: Church
"Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer." Hebrews 10:24-25 (GNB)
God clearly thinks it's important to regularly meet together as Christians. Why? Because
It's very easy for church not to be a habit...
Life is busy, and it's easy to prioritise other things.
We live in a day and age where most people don't see any value in going to church, which means there are lots of competing activities.
Church doesn't always feel like an important or exciting thing to do.
Getting kids out of the door can be harder than you think... (have you seen the brilliant Michael Macintyre sketch?)
So why should we strive to make coming to church Sunday by Sunday a habit?
Because, as the verse says, we desperately need each others' encouragement. Being a Christian is often hard. One of God's ways of encouraging us to keep going is putting us in a family who will cheer each other on!
On Sunday to illustrate this, we got Jaco up to the front and told him to do 10 press-ups... the rest of us had to cheer him on and provide encouragement! We all made a lot of noise: 'Come of Jaco! You can do it! Keep going!'
We need each others' encouragement week by week to keep going wholeheartedly as Christians: "Come on Sam! You can do it! Keep trusting Jesus! Don't be discouraged. Remember Jesus died for you! Remember he's coming back!"
And that's why being at church Sunday by Sunday is a great habit for a Christian family.
Spurring each other on...
So, families, help each other. Kids, encourage your parents. Parents, don't just tell your kids that they have to go to church. Teach them why we go to church. Book it into you calendar. Invest in relationships at church, and mid-week groups if you can. Make it easy for your children to make friends at church by being there, and seeing other families outside of Sunday afternoons.
Before you know it, this habit will be reaping a harvest in your family life together. You'll all love Jesus more, enjoy more of his presence and his peace, feel more connected to his people, and more engaged in his plans for the world.