We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders…
so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
I’m not a woman of many resolutions. Sadly, I like my Ben & Jerry’s too much to make any bold declarations on January 1. But this year my husband and I resolved to make family worship a regular practice in our home. We felt the desire to worship with our kids as a way of honoring Jesus as King in our home. After two months of practice, we are certainly not experts, but we read a couple of books on family worship and came away with this:
Read. Pray. Sing.
After dinner, we gather in the living room and open God’s Word. My husband or I will read a psalm, or we’ll play an audio version on one of our phones. To switch it up, we might read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, or a passage from With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah. We keep it short. We sometimes paraphrase a line or two for clarity. We don’t spend time discussing the passage unless the children have comments or questions. We usually just allow the Word of God to speak.
We pray. The kids pray as they’re led. Sometimes we’ll pray for the person to our right. The kids love praying for each other and being prayed for by siblings. It’s a completely different dynamic from their typical daily interactions.
Then we sing. I know many adults are uncomfortable singing in public, let alone leading songs with their families. But children love this part, and it’s what the people of God have been doing since God brought them out of Egypt. “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord, O my Soul).” “Step by Step.” “Jesus Loves Me.” My children are young, so we stick with songs that everyone can sing easily and enthusiastically, but you could use this opportunity to introduce older children to the great canon of hymns the church has sung for millennia.
Keep it simple and sustainable, and welcome the Spirit of God into your home as you worship together. Please share in the comments any resources or ideas that have been helpful to your family!
For further reading:
Family Worship. Donald S. Whitney
A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home. Jason Helopoulos
“The What, When, and How of Family Worship.” Jason Helopoulos