COVID has shown God’s kindness. During this season, God has given us more time with our whole family together than maybe we have ever had before. While it may have produced some challenges, it has also been a gracious gift from the Lord to start to implement some family worship habits that may have not existed previously in your home.
I hope you have been able to gather as a family for worship in your home on Sundays while we have been apart. If not, I pray that you may see the importance of continuing to worship the Lord on Sundays in your home, and that you may be encouraged to begin doing so this week.
When we resume meeting together at church for worship, one thing that should not stop is your family worship time. It should become a regular weekly habit in your home as you seek to raise your family in the instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4). May God use this season to build that habit in your home.
Family worship can take place around the dinner table, when you are tucking your kids into bed, in the living room on a Saturday morning, or in the car on the way to practice. The biblical prescription for family worship is given in Deuteronomy.
“Love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” – Deut. 6:5-7.
Any Christian family can do family worship. It not a scientific formula. It just takes a little initiative from the Christian head of the home. This role is given to the father if he is a Christian and present in the home.
Family worship includes at least three simple things: Read, Sing, Pray
Read – Read Scripture. You do not have to read a lot of Scripture. If you have small children a simple verse or a short passage is perfectly fine. A short devotional is also useful. But Scripture must be read. All Scripture is breathed out by God, and is profitable for us to make us complete in Christ (2 Tim 3:16-17).
If we are want our family to worship Christ and become like him, we must read his Word together. In addition, the parents should have a question or two to ask in response to what was just read so that you can digest God’s truth together and be able to have godly conversation which about life and holiness. Read from God’s Book and allow it shape your family for his glory.
Sing – Yes, sing. It’s ok if you don’t have a good voice. It is also ok if this feels awkward. We are not looking for a 4-part harmony around the piano. We are looking for a simple verse and chorus from a Christian song or hymn that your whole family can sing.
If you have young children you can sing songs like: What a Mighty God We Serve, or Jesus Loves Me. If your children are older, let them pick a Christian song that strengthens them, like Living Hope or Lord, I Need You.
The Bible commands us to sing spiritual songs to one another (Eph 5:19). The Psalms command us continually sing. “For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.” (Ps. 147:1). Sing together and watch how the Lord uses it to shape your family for his glory.
Pray – An obvious, yet often missed part of family worship. This is not the same prayer as your prayer for dinner. This is set aside prayer together as a family to live in light of God’s Word. This does not have to be a long prayer. You don’t need eloquent speech. You just need a humble heart that longs to have Christ as the center of your home.
Beg Christ to be the center of your home. Seek Christ together for your marriage, your children, your neighbors, your church, and your lost friends. Pray the Scripture you read for family worship over your family. Pray that you and your kids will have opportunities to share the gospel with others. Pray for the sick and hurting in your life. Pray for strength to obey God’s Word.
Pray for help to love your neighbors as ourselves. Pray that you and your family will not live for yourselves, but for Him who for our sake died and was raised (2 Cor 5:15). As a family, let’s remember the command to “pray constantly” (1 Thess. 5:17).
Resources that can help you with your time of family worship in the home:
Sunday Morning Video: Pastor Monty posts a biblical message each Sunday while we are apart, and Pastor Trevor leads us in songs of praise together. We are posting these each week at 9:30 on the church blog and facebook page. We will be together again soon, until then keep worshipping at a social distance.
Connect Group Resources: Be on the lookout in your inbox for resources for your kid’s gospel project lesson. These help you with teaching and godly discussion with kids and teens.
Books: Family Worship by Don Whitney. Whitney gives practical and theological help in his tiny book to this subject. Its easy to read and worth your time.
— New City Catechism (book or phone app): It is 52 simple, yet robust foundational theology questions and answers that you can use for your family worship time each week. Useful for kids through adults. It even includes songs for each one. We use this in our home and our kids love the songs.
May God strengthen you are your family with the grace that is in Christ Jesus.