How Do I Organize Family Worship?
Family worship is the practical and formal application of training and instructing your children in the Lord. It is when a family meets together to worship God. It serves to orient the hearts of the family towards God on a regular basis and is a testimony to the children in the family of all that God has done and that He is worthy of our worship. This is accomplished through reading the Bible together, praying together and singing biblical songs together.
Establishing The Foundation Of Family Worship
- One of the primary functions of a Christian family is to pass on the worship of God within the family so that it continues to the next generation and generations to come. Worship is our adoration and devotion to God and is a testimony to our love to Him for all that He has done for us. Parents, especially fathers, are responsible to lead their family to worship God by making the truths about God and His word known to their children. This includes active participation in a local church, but even more so it includes the regular meeting together of the family unit for worship and devotion in their homes.
- The goal of family worship is to orient the families hearts towards God on a regular basis. Parents conduct family worship within the home so that their children might set their hope in God, not forget the works of God and to keep His commandments. This helps parents to avoid raising children who are: stubborn, rebellious, don’t set their heart aright and whose spirit is not faithful to God.
- The Old Testament gives up many examples that allude to families who worshipped God within their homes: (1) Abraham was commended by God because He knew he would command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord. (2) Moses commanded Israel to love God and then to diligently teach their children to do the same. (3) Joshua charged the people of Israel to serve the Lord and not to serve false gods and despite what everyone else chose, he decided that he and his family would serve the Lord. (4) Job’s sons would hold feasts in their houses and at the end of the feast Job would offer burnt offerings for them. He did this continually.
Genesis 18:17-19; Deuteronomy 6: 4-7; Joshua 24:14-16; Job 1:4-5
- The core tenets of the New Testament underscore the importance of family worship because worship and evangelism is central to our Christian responsibilities.
Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4-5; Matthew 28:18-20
Putting Practical Steps Into Focus
- Choose a time—When we worship in any form we are letting others know what we really love. Therefore, it only seems reasonable that we would often and regularly meet together as a family for worship. Family worship should be commonplace in our families. God is worthy of our worship. Family worship provides one of the ways that we can worship Him and pass on the faith to our children. Thus, the father ought to take the lead (if the father isn’t a believer or is not present in the family then the responsibility falls to the mother) and choose a time each day that is possible (daily is best) to have a regular formal time of family worship. The time can be in the morning, evening or both. Keep it brief—not drawn out. Make it joyous—not grievous. Be flexible—but not inconsistent. Be together—not separate.
- Choose the activities—The father doesn’t have to be an expert in the Bible to lead his family in worship. There are three main activities that fulfill the purpose of family worship and any believer can lead his family using the following three activities: reading the Bible, praying and singing biblical songs.
- Read the Bible together: The Bible is the basis of all Christian beliefs. The Bible is truth and as such reveals God’s will to us. The three ways it instructs us are: understanding who God is, how to know Him, and how to live for Him. Therefore, we should give attention to reading the Bible with our families. You can choose the amount to read based on your children’s ages. As you read it make sure to explain any difficult words and give a basic explanation and application of the text that you read together.
- Pray together: Prayer is when a believer speaks to God. This includes: asking, supplication, thanksgivings, praise, confession and intercessions. Believers know that God can hear them and that He will respond according to His will. Believers should be constantly praying and paying attention to what is going on so that they can make their requests known to God and thank Him for when He answers prayer. Therefore, we should give attention to praying with our families. After you read the Bible, you can ask for pray requests or praises from your family and also use the Bible truth learned from the passage read that day as a prayer request or praise.
- Sing biblical songs together: Singing is a powerful tool that allows us to teach truth and reinforce doctrine through the lyrics of the songs. The instrumental accompaniment taps into our emotions. Together they enable one way for us to worship God. Therefore, we should give attention to singing together as a family. Choose a few songs (maybe those you sing at church) and sing them together.
Other Areas Of Family Worship
- Choose to disciple—As a Christian parent, you should be a disciple of Jesus who is committed to discipling others. This means you are growing in your knowledge of the Word of God and in your relationship with Jesus. Then you are taking all that you have learned and teach it to others. This should include your children. They need to be discipled in the gospel, theology, doctrine, missions, Christian disciplines, principles and worldview. You can use other books to read together, memorize scripture or other activities to help achieve learning in these areas, as well as, leading by example.
- Choose a church—As a Christian parent, you should bring your children to church so they will be around other believers and be influenced by learning, worshipping and growing in the Word of God together. They should worship with the family at church. (If they don’t understand it is the father’s responsibility to explain it to them at home.) It instills the habits of learning how to sit through a sermon and how to take part in the work of God through evangelism and serving others. Finally, being present when believers take the Lord’s supper and new converts are baptized reminds them of their need for Jesus.
- What is one of the primary functions of a Christian family?
- How does family worship accomplish this function?
- What are some Old Testament examples of family worship?
- What are the three activities of family worship time?
- What are some other areas of family worship to be considered?