First Baptist Church, Auburndale, FL
Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Guide to Family Worship


A SIMPLE GUIDE TO FAMILY WORSHIP

 

 

The idea of family worship is both attractive and intimidating. The thought of beginning a new pattern of worship in the home can be overwhelming for those just beginning. This guide includes answers to basic questions that we hope will equip you to lead your family in worship.

 

What does the Bible say about growing together in Christ as a family?

 

The importance of the family in discipleship is prominent throughout the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 6:6-­‐7; Psalm 78:5-­‐7; Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Husbands are primarily responsible for the spiritual leadership of  their wives (Ephesians 5:22-­‐33). Parents, especially fathers, are primarily responsible for the spiritual growth of their children (Eph. 6:1-­‐3). These are huge responsibilities, but God has promised to provide everything we need to lead our families well according to His design. As leaders in our home, the critical thing to remember is that God’s Word must be written upon our hearts. Our faith in Christ and reliance on His Word should be authentic, tangible, and transparent.

 

What are the benefits of family worship?

 

·         Family worship brings glory to God. It is a visible reminder for all in the home that God is worthy of our time, attention, and affection.

·         Family worship produces joy in the home. Jesus will bring joy to families who worship and grow together. The love of Christ will be more evident in a family where worship is central.

·         Family worship affects change in the world. As families read, pray, study, sing, and grow together, they join from their homes in what God is doing across the nations while affecting each other’s lives for generations to come.

 

What should we do during family worship?

 

Keep it simple. Consider including the following elements as you worship together:

 

·         Read—Read a portion of the Bible together. You may consider reading one (or both) of the chapters from the Bible Reading Plan. Don’t worry if you’ve already read it in your time alone with God. Reading a chapter a second time will only reinforce what God is teaching you. If children are present and able to read, allow them to do so. Of course, you’ll want to explain difficult words and concepts (but don’t worry too much if you can’t explain everything!).

 

·         Discuss—After reading the Bible together, work through a simple process of examining what has been read much like you do in your time alone with God. Give everyone a chance to discuss the passage and consider how it applies to everyday life. Ideally, you will lead by example and share with your family what you learned in your time alone with God and the difference it has made.

 

·         PrayConsider praying through the key points of the Bible passage that you have just read and discussed. Ask God to change your hearts, minds, lives, and family accordingly. This specific prayer can lead to a more general time of prayer that uses the letters P-­‐R-­‐A-­‐Y as a guide:

 

o    Praise—Worship God for who He is.

o    Repent—Confess your sin to God and acknowledge your need for Jesus.

o    Ask—Intercede for particular needs in your life and other’s lives.

o    Yield—Surrender your life to following Jesus wherever and however He leads you.


Try to include everyone as you pray, even if this is on a rotating basis. Additionally, you may want to keep a prayer journal that enables you to keep track of prayer requests and God’s answers to those requests.

 

·         Sing—Sing or listen to music together as a family. If someone in the family has musical gifts, they may lead some simple songs. If no one in your family is musical, you can sing along with music  or listen to praise songs and discuss what they mean.

 

·         Memorize—Choose key verses or passages to memorize. You may want to work on a verse or passage for a week or a month. Either way, be sure to work together, taking time to understand what you are memorizing. Periodically, set aside time to review verses over the course of the year.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Family Worship

 

        What if a father or mother is not a Christian?

 

The commands regarding family discipleship in the Bible assume believing parents. Of course, this is not always  the case. In those instances where the father is not a follower of Christ, the mother will need to take the initiative for leading family worship in a non-­‐offensive and non-­‐threatening way. In the case of a mother not being a follower of Christ, the father should lead with compassion and sensitivity.

 

2.             What about a single parent family?

 

In this case, the responsibility falls to the single parent. This, along with the many another duties that single parents have, may present a significant challenge. However, God will supply great grace and everything we need to raise and strengthen our children in the faith.

 

3.             What about children?

 

The dynamic of family worship will vary considerably depending upon the ages of the children involved. The goal for every child in the family is not the same. With young children, focus on the importance of knowing God, respecting the Bible, and worshiping as a family. With older children, dig into Scripture more, ask good questions, and discuss how the Bible relates to life and how a relationship with Christ changes us every day.

 

4.             How do I keep things interesting if the age of my children varies widely?

 

Regardless of age, include children in planning, reading, singing, teaching, and praying as much as possible and as much as maturity will allow. Make sure to keep things simple, don’t be afraid to keep it short, listen well, and be aware of what is happening in each child’s heart and life.

 

5.             What time of day is best for family worship?

 

Timing is far less important than consistency. Some families prefer to worship as the day begins. For others, evening may work best. Many families prefer to adjoin family worship to the evening meal since everyone may be present at that time.

 

Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach [God’s words] 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.” Concentrated time in family worship can serve as a catalyst and support for “as you go, as you sit, as you walk” conversations about and applications of God’s Word within our families. Encouraging and challenging our spouses and children in Christian faith happens best in the context of real, everyday life. Family worship builds consistency into our family routines and opens up many opportunities and possibilities within our family relationships.