With 70-80 per cent of evangelical young people walking away from the faith as soon as they are out of college (depending on who’s numbers you look at), it is clear that what we have been doing for decades is failing. Gladly, there are many Christians are waking up to their Biblical duties in all across the nation. They desire to reverse this disturbing trend by recovering the practices and disciplines that Christianity has lost. We believe that one of the lost practices of Christian families that helps hold families and the church together is family worship.
Family worship is essential. According to the Bible, fathers are responsible for discipling their entire household. We find this clearly taught in Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:4; and Psalm 78:1-7. One of the most effective ways for the father to lead his household is to practice family worship.
The benefits of family worship are many. Most importantly, children are raised up in the ways of the Lord from their youngest days. A family that worships regularly in the home models Biblical discipleship, experiences peace, equips its members with Scripture, and trains up solid members of the local church. In our culture it is more imperative each day that Christian families make time to participate in family worship regularly, daily is best.
Family worship need not be complex. What works for a family with small children might be insufficient for families with older children or with wide age ranges. A simple approach to family worship keeps everyone interested, and dialog keeps everyone engaged. Some basic elements of well-rounded worship in the home include singing, praying and reading the Bible together. Discussion is a vital part of discipleship, so make time to interact and allow the Holy Spirit to work. It is far better for parents and children to have meaningful, Spirit-inspired discussion about the Bible than to be rigid and finish a plan for the sake of finishing. Family worship is also excellent training time to teach young children how to sit with the family in church.
Fathers, be ready for questions. You need only be a day ahead of your children and able to answer their questions. If you don’t know, say so, and go find out and report back at some later time – doing so models humility and teachability to your family, and both are rare but vital character qualities of Christians. If you have older children, you may want to try a devotional study or formal a Bible study. Families ought to use this time as well to confess sins to one another, restore relationships, share concerns and give thanks. Family worship should open up hearts to one another and provide opportunities for important communication.
Family worship and devotions are a vital part of the thriving Christian family, making time for it should be a priority. If you have to give up some event or adjust schedules, do it! Your family’s eternal souls are far more important than soccer games and careers. By establishing a consistent and daily family worship time, you are leading your family to a deeper devotion to God, the Word, His people and the generations to come.
For a more complete look at Family Worship, we suggest the following resources:
- The Family Worship Book: A Resource Book for Family Devotions by Terry L. Johnson
- Family Worship, 2nd Edition (Family Guidance) by Joel R Beeke
- Thoughts on Family Worship By James W. Alexander
Also see our post entitled Elements of Family Worship
- by Pastor Scott Head