Family Worship Interview

This interview was first published on the Gospel Coalition Canada website.

When did you start practicing family worship?

When our twin daughters were very young, Steph and I committed ourselves to the discipline of family worship. This has proven to be a rich time of learning and growing for our family. Family worship affords us the chance to dig into in God’s Word, to worship and pray together, and to be reminded of what is most important on a daily basis.

How do you practice family worship in your home?

Most of the time, our family worships in the morning, right after breakfast, usually between 7:30–8:00 A.M.


I read through a portion of Scripture (perhaps half a chapter) and then talk about it, explain it, and ask the kids questions relevant to the text. Right now we are working through Genesis, but we have made our way through several books of the Bible. It doesn’t require a whole lot of prep time on my part. I just want to expose them to the Word as much as possible. We use the ESV mostly, and the KJV occasionally.


We also aim to work through catechisms and do about two per week. We are now on our second time through the New City Catechism and plan on using a baptist version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism next (such as Spurgeon’s catechism).


Singing is also part of our family worship. Using a hymnal or songbook, we sing a couple of worship songs together.


We close our time off with prayer. Sometimes I ask Mom to pray, but most of the time it is just me. I pray for the children’s salvation and ask that God would give them a knowledge of the truth. We also pray for missionaries, our sponsor child, and that God would help us be loving and forgiving of one another.

Advice for families starting out

It doesn’t require a whole lot of prep time on your part, just start reading the Bible together. 

Every family is different and there is no right or wrong way. The most important thing is exposing your children (and you) to the Word of God. Our family 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.


If you are a couple without any kids, then it goes without saying that you can still have times of family worship. You just have more freedom to worship in a manner that suits you. I would say the same thing to grandparents. Your kids may have left many years ago, but that shouldn’t stop you and your spouse from studying God’s Word and worshipping together. When you visit the grandkids, do what you can to teach them the Bible (Deut 6:7) and to model a life of worship.

Whether it is our immediate family, our church family, or the global family of God, God has placed us together. We grow together, we worship together, we rejoice together, and we weep together. What a brilliant plan!

Recommended resources

We are blessed to live during a time where there are many great resources available. Here are some links that I would recommend along with brief explanations: 

New City Catechism—NCC is fantastic! 52 questions and answers to help teach your children doctrine and theology and ground them in the Christian faith.

The Gospel Story Bible—I have lost track of how many copies of this book we have given away. It includes 156 stories from Genesis to Revelation that show how everything in Scripture points us to Jesus. Highly recommended!

Do all that you can to foster a love of singing in your children. How? Through singing. Most kids already love to sing so all you have to do is keep them singing. Grace Community Church has recently put together a modern Hymnbook that we have benefited from. I would also recommend Seeds Family Worship. These bible-based songs are fast-paced and your kids will grow to love them.

Over the last couple of years, our family has also started to listen to podcasts. There are plenty of great podcasts out there, but let me recommend just three. John Piper’s Solid Joys, my friend Champ Thornton’s In the Word, On the Go, and Steve Nichols’ 5 Minutes in Church History. These podcasts are usually between 4–10 minutes and are excellent.

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