What is family worship?
- Family worship is a time set aside by a family unit to worship God together in the home. In these moments of worship, we become more aware of who God is and all that He’s done.
- Family worship generally includes three fundamental elements: scripture, prayer, and song (read, pray, sing). You don’t need to include all three elements each time, nor do they need to occur in any order. The point is to find intentional, quality time to read God’s word, pray, and sing together.
- Family worship can be short and simple. A good average time for family worship would be 10-15 minutes, especially if younger children are involved. If the children are a bit older and the conversation goes a little deeper, then perhaps the time is extended. There is no official time expectation or requirement when it comes to family worship.
- Family worship isn’t necessarily just for families with children. All Christians are called and commanded to worship. Ultimately, family worship can involve anyone who lives in the home. This may include grandparents, extended family members, friends, etc.
- Family worship can be facilitated by the head of the household (parent or guardian), or whomever in the home feels most comfortable leading it. If two parents are involved, it could be that both parents facilitate family worship together.
Why is family worship important? Why does it matter, and why should it be prioritized?
(After all, life is busy, and parenthood is already hard!)
- God deserves to be worshipped in our homes and by our families. He is more than worthy of this given all that He is and all that He’s done.
- The importance of family worship is shown throughout the Bible
- Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 6-7 – Now this is the commandment,…which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them…that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged….And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in the house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
- Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- Joshua 24:15 – And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served there were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (some translations substitute the word “serve” with “worship”).
- Exposure to the church once a week is not sufficient to impress upon children the true value and worth of God to the extent that they are compelled to pursue Him once they leave the home. Many parents rely too heavily upon their church to provide a majority of the religious training their children receive.
- Family worship builds the appetite for the Sunday gathering. Our readiness and desire to experience the Lord on Sunday is greatly influenced by our experiences with Him throughout the week at home and with our family.
- Family worship keeps us close to the Lord. As the old hymn says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.” As sinful human beings, and due to the busyness and distractions of life, we are prone to wander away from the Lord through the week.
- Family worship makes it clear to our families that God and faith development are not restricted to Sundays. Both must be a party of our everyday life. Children notice when worship is only a once a week activity, and they also notice when it becomes a priority.
- Family worship helps build up the church. The Puritans once said, “We must seek to have our families be little churches, for that will be the backbone of the visible church.”
- Family worship keeps our attention focused on Christ, and invites His peace into our homes. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You... (Isaiah 26:3).
- Family worship is an indispensable instrument for instilling both old and young with a consciousness of the Lord, His Word, and our call to worship. Family worship cannot be an add-on—something that we do only if and when we have time. As Christian parents and families, this is something that God calls us to do; He has given us this responsibility, and this privilege.
We hope that this article highlights the value of this important spiritual discipline and inspires you to begin engaging it in your home, or to continue with it if it’s something that you’re already doing.
For some practical ideas regarding how to implement family worship in your home, see our additional article on this topic, “Family Worship: How?”