During the winter months in Arkansas, periodic storms of snow & ice often cause everything to shut down for a day or two - schools, businesses, dangerous roads, etc. So what do you do in the event that church is cancelled? I'd like to suggest that just because your church services are cancelled, that doesn't mean the Lord's day is cancelled. Of course, the fellowship of the body will be missed, but there is still great opportunity for men to lead their own flock in a time of meaningful worship. Here are a few simple suggestions that will take little or no preparation on your part.
- Sing :: If you have any musicians in your home, great - let them help! If not, just sing a few well known hymns or choruses together. Let the children take turns choosing a song.
- Pray :: Share requests with one another. Pray through your church prayer list. Pray for those still suffering in Haiti. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for your government (1 Timothy 2:1-2). I've never been around a child who couldn't think of something/someone to pray for.
- Read Scripture :: An adult can lead by reading or they may let the children take turns. Pick a passage that your pastor has recently been in or one that you're currently reading on your own. Ask others for their favorite passages.
- Listen to a Sermon :: One of the great blessings of technology is the incredible amount of sermon audio available online today. So take your Bibles and turn... just like you would at church, and listen to the preacher of your choice. Here are a few sites to choose from:
- SermonAudio.com - You can find most any preacher that suits your theological & denominational preference here. As far as I know, these sermons are free to anyone.
- Monergism - A great mp3 resource from a reformed perspective
- John MacArthur - you can search for any sermon by Scripture reference here
- John Piper - His sermon archives are available here
- Faith By Hearing - A wide & solid assortment of mp3 sermons searchable by Scripture text, topic, preacher, etc.
I trust this will be a helpful & encouraging resource for you. Hopefully you'll see how easy this can be. However, I want to caution you regarding your expectations - especially if you have little ones with short attention spans (or older ones with short attention spans!) Don't expect this to go perfectly - because it probably won't. You do want to be training your children to sit still and quiet, but you also want to remember that this is an informal time of worship. For instance, if you're listening to a sermon and someone has a question, pause the sermon and discuss.
Have some fun with this - you might even tell the kids that they'll get to "go to church" in their PJ's tomorrow!
Have a great Lord's Day tomorrow - I'd love to hear how your family worship went!
(At least one church I know has a "come if you can" policy for inclement weather that helps avoid any confusion and lack of communication.)