Jun

11

2013

Kevin DeYoung|5:54 am CT

A Neglected Grace

I’m excited to tell you about Jason Helopoulos’ first book–A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home. It’s currently on sale at WTS Books for five dollars. For the cost of a Hot N’ Ready you can receive needed encouragement for a neglected grace.

Right near the top of the list of things I really want to do, but struggle to do well, would be family worship. I know it’s important, but seem to fail as much as I succeed. Family worship will burst on the scene for five days, only to disappear for four. The kids will enthusiastically participate one night and barely sit still the next. Family worship is something my wife and I have done with our kids for years and something we’ve struggled with just as long. It’s hard to be consistent, hard to be creative, hard to make the time, hard to make the kids pay attention, hard to push through seeming tedium to the point of supernatural triumph.

Which is why I love this book.

I love the title: A Neglected Grace. Instead of hammering us with the heavy hand of ought, Jason holds out family worship as an example of divine kindness. Yes, we need motivation for the discipline of family worship, but the best, longest-lasting motivation comes not by feeling terrible for what we could be doing better, but by believing what good God has in store for us. The message of the book isn’t “Pray with your family or else!” but “Think of how sweet this will be.”

I love the practicality of this book. Jason has reached back into the history of the church without sacrificing relevance for our own day. His reflections are timeless, and his counsel is timely. He doesn’t just tell us what to do. He shows us how to do it. Jason gives us questions to ask, elements to try, books to read, hymnals to consult, and real life stories from which to learn. I expect everyone who reads this book will walk away with two great conclusions: “I want to grow in family worship,” and “I have some great next steps to take in that direction.”

Finally, and on a subject like this, maybe most importantly: I love the good friend of mine who wrote this book. In a day where we have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook and introduce every acquaintance as “My good friend so and so,” I count it a privilege to have Jason as a real, flesh and blood, stick by you no matter what, friend. He’s a good pastor, a good husband, and a good father. He’d be the first to tell you he’s not perfect—not with family worship or anything else. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a example to follow. This is one pastor who practices what he preaches. I know firsthand that he writes as one who takes seriously all the challenges and all the opportunities fleshed out in this excellent book. The “neglected grace” of family worship is not neglected in his home.

And that’s a man I can respect, with a book I need.

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