Sunday, January 1, 2012

Educating for Worship

I am convinced that man, created in the image of God, is most basically homo adorans, a worshiping, affective being. A person develops his humanity by becoming a skillful worshiper of God. This view, of course, is in contrast to an overly intellectual understanding of man as basically homo sapiens, a thinking being. I believe that worshiping God with His people in His sanctuary is man’s greatest activity, most pertinent for fulfilling Christ’s commission and most relevant for forming godly culture and thus for fulfilling God’s mandate from man’s very creation. This special worship is far more important for evangelism, for sanctification, and for transforming this world than any other activity.

Pedagogical methods will reflect the type of human one desires to produce. One who desires to produce an excellent thinker will devise commensurate methods. Because I desire to become and lead my children in becoming excellent worshipers, the methods I chose in education will fit that goal.

Education is more about formation than it is about information. The methods one uses to educate one’s children are more formative of what a child becomes more than the ideas that are verbally communicated to them. Even pedagogies focused on the intellect will mold the desires and inclinations in a certain direction. But a child’s education, his formation, includes much more than just what takes place during the formal moments of schooling.

A person is known more by his affections than by his “beliefs.” The activities in which a person engages are a product more of his desires than of his stated beliefs. People, in general, do what they want to do. Indeed, some estimate that up to 95% of a person’s activities throughout a day are done without conscious reflection. Our habits, those activities that define who we are, are instilled not merely by persuasion of the intellect. They are formed by repeated rituals or practices that form the liturgies of our life.

Thus, as I seek to raise my children to be godly Christians, my efforts in “educating” them work to instill distinctly Christian practices into their lives that will form them into skillful worshipers of God, who worship Him because they truly love Him.

I am currently fascinated by a current realm of study that has to do with practices, and as I learn more I want to incorporate more and more distinctly Christian practices into the life of my family. And as we do so, I trust that God will use them to transform our affections toward worshiping Him as He desires.


  1. I appreciate the thoughts and it reminds me of what Mike Wilkerson said in his book "Redemption". "We worshiped our way into this mess, and by God's grace, we'll worship our way out."I hope to instill in my children the love to worship God through the "practices" of Christian faith.

  2. Good stuff. James Smith comes shining through.

    I'm also plowing through his book.

  3. As a homeschooling mother, this is especially thought-provoking.