A new series from WMC and GCP.
Following our Worship Leader Starts @ home.
Today we’re beginning a series on what it means to worship and follow Christ in our homes. When I read material written on modern “Worship-Topics” these days, I find 80% of material is primarily framed and formulated for the context of the gathered church in a “building” or “organized service” of some sort. It is also framed around the idea of “Worship Leading” coming from that of a man/women behind an instrument.
I would assert that our emphasis is a bit foreign to a Biblical approach, and would most certainly confuse Paul, as his understanding of the church and of being a follower of Christ is much different in many respects. Our emphasis upon “Church” and “Leadership,” has caused us, in my opinion to neglect the proper discipling of families and homes. Also, in light of the millions of books on leadership these days, I’m sure it would be surprising if we were to find even one book on the “Art of Following,” and yet this is exactly what “disciple” means (to be a learner and a follower of our leader Jesus).
The reason for the neglect in highlighting following and the life of the home is that the jobs of simple grandmas and grandpas, fathers, mothers and children within the home is not a glorifying place where trophies and promotions are awarded often. Following is also not sexy.
However, it is not outside the home where leadership is forged, its inside. This is what the Bible teaches, and it is in direct opposition to the mentality of the world.
The Household of God
I want to hone in on Paul’s emphasis upon the household of God. F.F. Bruce, a New Testament scholar in his commentary on Pauline writing says that the “household of God” is central in understanding Paul’s theology. Paul’s emphasis is not on shaping people for individual quiet times, but rather in forming homes and families to demonstrate Christ’s likeness as a people. Read the following quote from Diana Swancutt that is in the same spirit of F.F. Bruce. It’s a mouthful, but worth considering regarding the type of life Paul encourages in those who are new to the Christian Faith. In Ephesians Paul urges;
… former-gentiles to practice a different ethnic (paideia) one that comprised: the “imitation of God” (Eph. 5:1); living as Spirit-filled sages; speaking to fellow believers in “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19); and bringing children up in the ‘discipline and instruction of the Lord,’ as fathers do with their sons. In sum, church leaders in the Pauline tradition emphasized the centrality of home-based and communal scriptural instruction to their full ethnic transformation into the commonwealth of Israel.”
What is Paideia Anyway
So what did all that mean? It means, that Paul’s primary emphasis and concern in “leading” the church to follow Christ, was to emphasize the context of the home—the family! This is where his magnifying lens was aimed, and so shall ours be. Ralph P. Martin echoes and says this:
The church at its best reflects all that is noblest and most worthwhile in human family life: attitudes of caring and mutual regard; understanding of needs, whether physical or of the spirit; and above all the sense of ‘belonging’ to a social unit in which we find acceptance without the pretense of make-believe. . . . God’s house shares this character when its worship and fellowship create an atmosphere in which there is free expression of our true selves, always in the hope that we can learn from one another and mature as we grow into our Elder Brother’s likeness—Jesus (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 4:13-15). 
Therefore, the shape of the home should primarily influence the worship of the gathered church, not vice versa.
Next week, we’ll look at Paul’s use of the word paideia. What the heck does this word mean anyway? We know in the Greco-Roman model of education, paideia was a cultural education of “good men” for the future of the city-state. It referred to the upbringing of children through training in literacy, numeracy, virtue, and ethnic history. However, what does this have to do with our homes, our Biblical training, and our true worship of Christ?
Interact with us…
Why do you believe that culture, and even church has shifted toward leading and not following?
What has caused the organized church in general, to neglect of training families’ to worship in their home life and daily rhythms?
 Diana M. Swancutt, Scripture Reading and Identity Formation in Paul: Paideia among Believing Greeks, Paul and Scripture Seminar—SBL November, 2006.
 Ralph P. Martin, The Family and the Fellowship (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), 124.