January 11, 2011

How Do I Lead Family Worship?

Dads, we've been given a big task!

There are several questions when it comes to family worship and we will discuss some of them here. What’s not in question is the fact that the Bible lays the weight of pastoring the family and teaching them the Word of God squarely on the shoulders of the father.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 ESV)

Here are a few of the questions I have heard (and wrestled with myself) about leading family worship in the home and what we are currently doing in our home. These are questions you and your wife should sit down and answer. Leading your family doesn’t mean you do it alone! Also, take it from me, beating yourself up because it isn’t going the way you thought it would or you missed a day or two will only lead to frustration!

  • How often should we do it?  I have heard several arguments for an every day approach. In my experience, with church services a night or two a week, this approach hasn’t worked for us. We don’t have a set guideline, but we usually shoot for about 3 nights a week.
  • What should we do?  I have tried a few different books as well as just opening up the Bible and talking about what we read. The bottom line is… Just do SOMETHING! The two most helpful resources I have found (and am currently using) are “The Jesus Storybook Bible”“Long Story Short”. Long Story Short breaks down a weekly theme into five 10 minute devotions. You could go through a theme a week or stretch it out. My kids love acting out the stories in the Storybook Bible. If you or family member can play a musical instrument do it, if not, iTunes could be a big help with worship songs. Take prayer requests and have a quick word of prayer with them. Regardless of whether you have family worship that night or not, it would be a great habit, whenever possible, to pray with your kids every night as you tuck them in.
  • How long should it be?  I started out thinking I had to make my kids doctrinal/theological masters in a matter of a few short weeks, so we all got burnt out pretty quickly. Keep it short and to the point.

By writing this, I in no way think others should do things exactly as we do them. I just know what works for my crew and those methods have changed multiple times and most likely will change again. Don’t be afraid to change things up if it isn’t working. Just stay at it.

A final word from my godly, smokin’ hot wife. “It is vital to spend time with your kids! Do something with them every night, if possible. If we are not doing family worship together, we are playing video games as a family, card games, trains, making crafts, reading books, etc. In other words, our kids know we care about what they care about and that we love to have fun on their level. If you don’t have this aspect of the relationship, you will just be their teacher/preacher and as they grow, that’s all they may view you as. Please don’t reject their pleas for you to play with them because it’s not what you want to do, or you feel there is something more important. Think of how God loves us and shows He cares about everything we care about! He is intimately involved in our lives as we should also be in the lives of our children. By playing with them, you see their God-given gifts, talents and abilities and you can encourage them to use those for God’s glory. It will also help you as you seek to make the truths of God’s Word applicable to them. If you know them well, you will know how they learn best and what examples will pierce their hearts.”

See guys, that’s why you marry someone smarter than you!

What does family worship look like at your house?

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