How can we implement family worship in our home?
- First, discuss your intent to start this spiritual discipline in the home, and take some time to teach the value and importance of it to your family.
- Select days/times of the week that would work best for your family, and then guard these times!
- Unless worship is codified in a family’s schedule, it will likely be supplanted by life’s busyness. Remember—family worship needs to be a priority—as for me and my house, we will serve (or worship) the Lord! If you cannot find time for 10-15 minutes of family worship, please be encouraged to take an honest look at your schedule.
- Start small and realistically, and build from there. Having family worship a couple times each week would be ideal, but once a week is better than not at all. An ideal time for family worship might be Saturday evenings, so that everyone is better prepared for Sunday. Another ideal time for family worship might be Sunday afternoon or evening. Not only does this help keep the Sabbath day holy, it also provides wonderful opportunities to discuss the message from the service in our family circles. A weekday evening can also work just fine, of course. Find what works best for you and your family, and then do your best to be regular and consistent.
- Select a location in the home that will be the most conducive to family worship, with the least amount of potential distractions. For some, it might work best to have family worship around the dinner table. For others, perhaps the family room makes the most sense for family worship, or a child’s bedroom right before bed.
- Practical thoughts and suggestions
- Read God’s word together
- Keep it simple. Choose a verse or passage that you were inspired by in a recent service, or that you read in your personal moments of Bible reading, and share it with your family (if children are involved, you could also have one of them read it!). Ideally, read from the Bible (as opposed to a phone, piece of paper, etc.) so that the children can see the value of God’s written word in physical form. Where applicable, you may find it helpful to read from an age-appropriate children’s Bible.
- Ask questions and discuss. What does this text teach us about God? What does it teach us about ourselves? What does it teach us about who Jesus is, and why we need Him? How does this text apply to our lives?
- Pray together
- One person can lead the family in prayer, or all can pray.
- Pray for each other, and pray for others (maybe ask the children whom they’d like to pray for, and include these people in your prayer). You might also consider utilizing these significant family moments to confess to and forgive one another.
- If no one feels comfortable leading prayer at first, use Scripture as your prayer. Simply pray the Lord's Prayer together or use one of the psalms as a prayer.
- Sing together
- Again, keep it simple. Choose a hymn or worship song that your family knows well (can be connected to the Scripture that was read, but doesn’t need to be). Sing it either a cappella (without accompaniment) or, if you have someone in the home who can play an instrument, sing along as they accompany. You could also listen to a recording on YouTube, Spotify, or iTunes. The point and purpose is to worship God together in song!
- To really keep things simple, sing the same song for a week, for a couple weeks, or even for a month (learn the words first, then the tune, and then put them together).
- If younger children are involved, feel free to include some fun (but still gospel-centered) songs—maybe even with motions!—to keep their focus and attention.
- One simple, practical idea would be to include a Bible verse, one or two questions, and a song on a sticky note, and to use this as the foundation for your family worship.
- If you’re having trouble knowing where to start, feel free to use the family worship guides provided by the church. Each guide includes a Bible verse, possible questions and conversation-starters, a prayer prompt, and a couple song suggestions. As you become more comfortable with the practice of family worship, please be encouraged to move away from the guides, and to select your own Bible verses and songs to meet your family’s unique needs and preferences.
- Read God’s word together
A note of encouragement: It's OK that real life happens in family worship. This is a real family in a real family setting. It may be possible that not everyone sits perfectly still with their hands folded, hanging on to every word that is said. Children may get up and down, the dog may bark non-stop at who knows what, etc.
Sometimes, we may walk away from these important moments of worship thinking, “I wonder if anything was accomplished tonight.” Be encouraged to keep at it, and to have patience. Remember the words of Malachi 3:16: Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. Every expression of worship, thankfulness, and praise is heard by God! These moments are and will always be worthwhile and will leave their traces in the hearts of your family.
May you have many wonderful, life-changing moments and experiences with the Lord as you worship Him together with your family.