New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend
January 28, 2016

Snowzilla 2016 Worship: In the Home
by Pastor Sean

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to put into practice the last of my five beginning of the year challenges (you can review them here). We had a snow day. For only the second time in our 40-year history we cancelled our worship services due to snow. Still, it was the Lord’s Day and I wanted (and needed) to worship God as a family before we went out to shovel out our home and our neighbors.

I was really happy with how it went. It’s not that I’ve always had family worship figured out. Over time I have had instruction and I’ve tried new things. Some have worked well. Others have not. Usually the success and joy we experience in family worship is a direct result of my own consistency and joy in doing the process.

I wanted to share what we did this last Sunday in the case you might find it helpful for your household. The easiest way to think about family worship is to model it on our Sunday corporate worship services. What we do in our worship services together are designed so they can be modeled in your home in family worship. You will see how our family followed the pattern of our church in our own pattern below.

  • Open with a short scripture - You can use many many verses. One good idea is the Fighter Verses that we publish in the bulletin. This week it is Romans 11:33-36.
  • Sing a Song. Here is a download link to the hymn list I use. Sharon Leaman created the hymn list for Christ Covenant School. They sing the same song through the month, so our family sings the same song through the month. My hope and goal is that my children (and yours!) will know the great hymns of the faith. So I’m happy to sing one song every day for a month. I have never found it boring or dull to sing the same song once a day for a month. These are the hymns that will sustain us through our whole life. We want to know them!
  • Opening Prayer - a short prayer asking God to bless the time.
  • Sing another hymn from the list.
  • Recite the Apostles Creed together. We’ve been trying to memorize this. The Apostles Creed was part of Sunday school for one of my children. We cut it out and use it for our devotions many nights.
  • “Pastoral Prayer” - pray for the needs of the people you know and opportunities you have. We pray for the Persecuted Church everyday as well. Last Sunday everybody prayed and we closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Read the Scripture. We usually read The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories because I want my kids to know the stories in the Bible. I know that some people would say we need to read a modern translation of the Bible, and they have some very good points, but for where my family is, we choose to read the children’s Bible. We have read Proverbs, the gospels, and done Bible Studies on Manners and Peacemaking. Of course, we adjust for Advent as well. I always have a plan, though the plan changes depending on the needs of my family.
  • Explain the passage. Whether you read the Scripture or a story, you should explain the passage and try to apply it. On Snowzilla 2016 we read Pastor Doug’s sermon notes and looked up the passages and I tried to tie them together. I had each of the kids with a Bible and we did “sword drills” to have them find the passages as fast as possible and then read them. I made sure everybody had a chance to read though.
  • Close the explanation with a prayer.
  • One more song.
  • Pray to close, or read 2 Corinthians 13:14 as a benediction.

So, in somewhere close to 30 minutes, you can imitate exactly what we do Sunday morning. Our services a simple, in part, so they can be imitated by you at home or duplicated in new churches.

It’s also not hard. The biggest challenge is getting everybody (starting with the head of the home) on board to do it. We need to do that with wisdom and patience, not necessarily blasting the family with a long devotion the first time out.

Sunday was an exceptional time for us. We always spend a little more time in worship on Sundays. Most nights, I am trying to do a devotion in about 10 minutes, so we may skip parts above or  move faster. A faster family devotion for us looks like this:

  • Recite the Apostle’s Creed … besides the help in learning the Creed it also helps focus us … a family memory verse would be good too.
  • Read the story … I  generally read the story from the Bible
  • Short explanation of the story … I explain by making some application point … I could prepare ahead of time or think of it while I am reading. For us this is pretty conversational.
  • Prayer requests and prayer by me … I pray but we all close with The Lord’s Prayer

Family worship doesn’t necessarily need to be long. Larry Plating (sorry Larry if I butcher this) told me a story this week of a small country church in a snowstorm. Only a farmer and the pastor showed up. The pastor asked the farmer, “should we have services?” The farmer answers, “Well, if only one cow shows up for dinner, I still feed ‘em.” So the pastor goes through his full service, skipping nothing and doing his full explanation of the text. At the end, the pastor says, “So what did you think?” to which the farmer replied, “Thanks pastor, but if only one cow shows up, I don’t feed him the whole trough!”  We don’t need to say everything we know or believe in any one sitting. Usually one quick and meaningful biblical principle is enough for a family devotion.

Keep it short. Do it daily. Your family will benefit greatly from it.

What does the Lord have for Us? Focus Day 2016
by Pastor Sean

   “They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” - Isaiah 61:4

Our world is in great need of a compelling vision from the church. Join us for Focus Day this Saturday as we discuss the vision for ministering to our world in the year to come. These are the prayer goals of all of us in the church. While our pastors, elders and ministry leaders begin the process of the prayer goals, they are the prayer goals of the church. Don't miss out on your opportunity to provide feedback, learn how you can support the Lord's vision, and pray for the church. The Lord calls us to unity of spirit, of vision, and of purpose. As you are able, join with your brothers and sisters for Focus Day this Saturday.

And, after Focus Day, you'll never be able to say, "I didn't know we were doing that!"

In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps

Focus Day - this Saturday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Childcare will be available through the morning. We are looking for teen helpers to minister in the nursery. If your teen is interested in helping contact Karsta at nursery@nlicc.org.

We will start at 8:30 AM with morning refreshments and end at 12:30 with lunch. If you are able, we still need your help with refreshments (click here to help).

See you Saturday!

Help Israel Team with Transportation
by Pastor Sean

   The Israel Missions Team needs help with transformation for their upcoming trip. They will be leaving from Washington DC on February 8 around 1:15 PM. You should be able to get there and back before the traffic rush begins.

The team needs transportation for 7 people.

Upcoming Events

  • 8:30 am Focus Day followed by lunch (room 100)  - See Description Above

  • 1:00 pm AM Praise Team rehearsal (sanctuary)

  • Sunday School – 9 AM (click here to see an online description of the classes)

  • Worship Service – 10 AM – Pastor Doug Preaching

  • Care Group Leaders Meeting - 4:30 pm

  • Evening Service – 6 PM – Gary Mangus Exhorting

  • Junior and Senior High Youth Groups – Youth Group meets this week at 7 PM

  • Come to Pray – Elder-led Prayer Time with Joe Plaia Leading


New Life in Christ Church


11925 Burgess Lane Fredericksburg, VA 22407

(540) 786-4848  |  nlicc@nlicc.org 

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