It seems like it’s always been a struggle to get families to worship together in the home.
I imagine that as soon as a parent hears the words “you should think about conducting family worship in your home everyday,” visions of their children sitting obediently on the couch in the living room, Mom on the piano in the corner punching out some hymns while everyone sings all the verses to Victory in Jesus, and Dad giving some kind of sermon, pop into their head. That same parent thinks: “No way can I pull that off ever, let alone every night.”
Well, I don’t think family worship needs to look like a church service. In fact, church services probably need to look a whole lot more like what Jason Helopoulos’ picture of family worship is in A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home. I haven’t tackled the book yet, but Ed Stetzer interviewed the author on his blog:
What are some examples of how parents can conduct family worship?
I always tell parents to start slowly. Expecting your family to read through the book of Leviticus the first night may be a little over-zealous! In fact, don’t expect too much. Rather, let it be a joyful time in which the family gathers together to read the Bible, pray, and sing. Remember that you are responding to God’s magnificent grace. Keep it simple, brief, and flexible. A short narrative portion of Scripture, a familiar hymn, and a brief prayer for the family is a good start. Just be sure to make it a priority by being consistent in the time, place, and attitude with which you approach family worship. And above all, persevere. Keep at it. There will be difficult nights and even weeks, but don’t give up!
What elements should compose family worship?
There are three cardinal elements we want to include in family worship: reading God’s Word, praying, and singing. These are gifts God has given to His people. There are other elements that can be helpful like catechisms, confessions of faith, children’s books, and biographies. However, we need to make sure that they never take the place of the cardinal elements.
What would our families start to look like if we regularly engaged in worshiping together?
What would church start to look like if its families had already worshiped in the home 4 or 5 times that week and came to join the community of faith already filled spiritually rather than depleted spiritually?
A Neglected Grace @ WPH