I remember the day, the hour, and the chair I was sitting in at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s library when I first read Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, A Pastoral Visit. My wife was pregnant, and I was training to become a pastor.
I was excited and terrified at the same time. Children are an amazing blessing from God and an incredible responsibility.
Spurgeon’s sermon was a great encouragement to me as I prepared to be a father. It was also a great challenge.
Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I had never experienced what Spurgeon called “family prayer.” To my recollection, we did not have a specific time set aside to worship together as a family. My parents loved Jesus and took us to church, but they were unfamiliar with the concept of family worship (“family prayer” as referenced by Spurgeon).
Family worship is a daily gathering of the family, which consists of spending time worshipping God through His Word, prayer, and singing. Noting its importance, Spurgeon proclaimed, “If we want to bring up a godly family, who shall be a seed to serve God when our heads are under the clods of the valley, let us seek to train them up in the fear of God by meeting together as a family for worship.”
Charles Spurgeon emphasized the importance of family worship in his writing, his public preaching, and his private practice. A visitor to Spurgeon’s home once said that Spurgeon was a grandeur man while leading his family in worship than while preaching to thousands.
This should not surprise us at all because it was Spurgeon himself who declared, “Just as I, as a preacher, would never miss an opportunity of saying anything here which I met with in the week, and which I thought you ought to hear, so let the Christian father be studying each day how he may instruct the church in his house in the fear of the Lord more perfectly!”
Charles Spurgeon practiced what he preached. Even though he had a packed ministry schedule, he recognized his primary ministry was at home. Spurgeon faithfully led his family in worship, and when he was out of town, his wife stepped in to fulfill this important role.
Spurgeon’s passion for family worship is contagious. Take a few minutes to read through his sermon, A Pastoral Visit. My prayer is that God would use this message in your life as he did in mine.