In my brief tenure as a pastor, I have discovered that just the thought of “family worship” can be overwhelming to Christian parents. It seems to me that one of the reasons is because parents think they need to duplicate the Sunday morning worship service. The reality is that family worship doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow the KIS principle – keep it simple!
Our twin daughters are now 10 months old and for the past few months, Steph and I have been doing family worship with the girls. It has been challenging, but it has also been a great blessing to our family. The reason we started this daily (what we aim for, not always successfully) practice when the girls were so young is so that it becomes habitual early on. Sure, the girls can’t understand much of anything, but it is a great blessing for Steph and I and it is beneficial for our family in general. There is nothing more important in life than worshipping God and it is a great blessing to do it together as a family. I can almost guarantee you that if you start doing family worship, it will have a unifying effect on your family.
Usually, we start out singing a song or two from the hymnal. If hymns are not your thing, then find a songbook that you like, but make sure it has God-glorifying lyrics. Then we move on to Scripture reading. Right now we are working our way through the Psalms, but the main thing is to get your children exposed to the word of God. The Bible says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). For all you Fathers out there, don’t think you need to preach a sermon every time you have family worship. Just get your children exposed to the word of God.
Our time of worship concludes in prayer. This is a time where we can lift up our praises, thanksgivings, needs, and requests to Almighty God together as a family. Eventually when the girls get older, we plan on working through a catechism with the girls. For those of you who are unfamiliar with catechisms, they follow a simple question and answer format. For example, the famous first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks: What is the chief end of man? Answer: The chief end of man is to glorify and enjoy Him forever. This is a great teaching tool for your children, and perhaps for you too.
If you are not already practicing family worship, I would encourage you to start. Our worship times usually only last 10-15 minutes so it doesn’t have to be long. The important thing is to get started and to allow the Lord to direct you. I’m curious; how does your family worship together? What works best for you?