How-to Guide for Family Worship

The world is in disarray right now with shutdowns and lockdowns happening around the globe due to COVID-19. Many families are seeing their typical schedules and activities upended or postponed. With more time in the home and with their kids; parents have never had a better opportunity to begin practicing a spiritual discipline that will radically shape the spiritual life of those in their family. This discipline is known as “family worship” and refers not only to a time of singing in musical worship to God, but an allotted period of time set aside for a family to gather to devote themselves to spiritual formation. This practice of family worship that I am proposing is laid out in Donald Whitney’s practical book titled “Family Worship.” The basis of this practice is simple. You will gather with your family to do three things: sing, read scripture, and pray together.
I am a Worship Pastor so of course I have a bias for singing and making music. I understand that many of you may not share that same outlook. There are many resources online that should offer families practical solutions to enable them to sing together. You can search youtube videos of your favorite songs that include lyrics. Play those songs and sing to the Lord together as a family. Turn up the music loudly if you are afraid of your voice. You can also play songs via spotify, itunes, pandora, and print the lyrics off so that you are able to sing along. The video library data base, Right Now Media, has several resources as offerings to families who desire to worship at home together.
Read scripture together. Read a few verses together through the Bible chapter by chapter. If you have young children you can read narrative portions of the Bible that are easier to understand. My family and I use a book from the Gospel Project called “Bible Stories in 5 Minutes.” We have very young children who have a hard time sitting still and listening. Consider reading the passages or stories you plan to cover before hand and think of a few questions that you can ask your children. You can make this simple, don’t over think it.
Finally, make a point to pray together. My family and I want to utilize this time to teach our children how to pray. My four year old daughter has a song (God Our Father) that she loves to sing/pray. We encourage our children to speak their hearts to God. For older children, consider teaching them The Lord’s Prayer as it will give them a foundation from which to grow on. Be sure to pray aloud with your family.
These three simple elements make up the family worship time. This is something I believe a family can aim to do every night together. Most families who strive for every night of the week end up missing a few days but the moment becomes a regular part of your schedule and your children will begin to expect it. The moment doesn’t need to be long. Aim for allowing about 10 minutes or so for this.
I believe the Lord will bless your family through this. Your children will see how much you value your relationship with the Lord and your relationship with them. They will notice how you make spiritual formation a priority in your home. It will set habits and patterns that your children will take with them into adulthood.
“…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15)