Gather round kids! Its time for FAMILY WORSHIP!
Lamentations from the mouths of babes…
Is this where your mind goes to when you hear ‘Family Worship’? Growing up a cynical pastor’s kid, mine can go that way faster than Michael W. Smith can launch into the chorus of ‘Place in This World.’
But family worship doesn’t have to be the living room version of the Sunday morning worship service your kids hate to be awake for.
Deuteronomy 6:7-9 says... ‘You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.’
This command that Jesus in Matthew 22 noted as The Greatest Commandment, calls us to worship God with body, mind, and soul. This isn’t a command that only applies itself for two hours on Sunday morning at Forest Drive. The call of the Gospel is day and night, in all aspects of life.
So how do you translate that to leading your family in regular worship?
First off, let’s go ahead and mention that worship is NOT music/singing. My friend Matt Boswell said that ‘Worship is too heavy a doctrine for singing to carry.’
Family worship is more about leading and shaping your family in the Gospel by daily reminders that God and His mercy are sufficient than about singing what’s hot on Spotify this week.
(having said that, you should be singing together…keep reading)
I’ve got 3 easy ways for you to start a regular time of Family Worship:
- Read Scripture Together - This doesn’t have to be a rigid, academic exercise. For my family, we read a Bible story every night before bed as part of our bedtime routine. There’s many excellent kids Bibles if you have little ones like me. If your kids are older, take turns reading out loud, maybe act it out, and talk about what you read after. And remember, it’s ok to say ‘I don’t know but let’s find out together’ if you get stumped by a 5 year old’s question like I have ;)
- Pray Together - We pray as a family a few times a day, but this practice also comes with our bedtimes. We all take turns praying and listening to each others prayers. We try and encourage our kids to thank God for something He’s given us, and to pray for a friend or family member each night.
- Sing Together - Singing is crucial part of the Christian life. It’s commanded over and over, and if you want to learn more about that, you can click here.
Matthew Henry speaks of Christian families and says ‘They that pray together in the family do well; they that pray and read the scriptures do better; but they that pray, and read, and sing do best of all.’
Sing with your kids. Sing worship songs together. Sing in the car together. You don’t have to be a ‘pro’ or play an instrument to do it. Take turns trying to make up a song while singing the Psalms. It might sound bad, but who cares. You’ll all laugh, and have a great time. Or maybe you’ll come up with a hit, and then you can let me know and we’ll sing it together as a church!
Family worship time doesn’t have to be a rigid, daunting practice. Just try and make it a regular practice. Show your kids the daily importance of relying on the Gospel with the goal of establishing that your home is one that glorifies God.