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  • Betsy James

Beginner's Guide to Family Worship


"Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church,

consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules." - Jonathan Edwards

Family Worship. If you are like me, you've heard this term passed around Christian circles for the past few years and you get the sense that it is something you should be participating in...the only problem is you have no idea what family worship is or what that would look like in your home. If this is you, don't feel bad. I was confused about this too and I'm a "professional" worship leader - I actually get paid to help people worship God. (I know! Who can believe this is a real job?!?) I love leading worship on Sunday mornings for our congregation but in this article I want to focus on much smaller churches - the churches that meet in our homes. Did you know you are running a house church? Guess who the worship leader is? Guess who the pastor is? Yikes!

Congratulations on planting a church!

If you are uncomfortable with your new position as leader of your house church, fear not. The basic formula for family worship is very simple.

1. Read the Bible

2. Pray

3. Sing

These routines are demonstrated throughout Scripture and have been practiced by faithful families for thousands of years. Your house church will look different from ours. Maybe you have two members...maybe you have 12. Maybe you are first generation Christians....maybe you have a broken or blended family. The good news is that family worship is accessible to all of us regardless of our age, stage, or economic status because the gospel is for all of us.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you get started:

1. Keep it simple and be consistent. We have family worship as we are tucking the boys into bed. Our routine takes about 5-10 minutes and we do it almost every night.

2. Quality time is a product of quantity time. Currently our family worship includes a surprising amount of conversations about Super Mario Brothers and poop. Every time the conversations veer off on these rabbit trails I think to myself..."I saw this going differently." BUT THEN...once or twice a week our kids will ask a really insightful question or they will pray something new and heartfelt and my husband and I will look at each other, eye-brows raised, and think, "Wow. That was amazing." But speaking of poop...

3. Worship isn't fragile. Holy moments aren't always quiet and solemn. Any time that is set aside for God is holy so don't be discouraged by the many distractions and off topic questions that arise. We occasionally feel the need to remind our kids that we need to show a certain level of respect when we speak with God and hear from His word but if you've got young children then wiggles and bodily functions and laughter become a commonplace (and sometimes funny) part of your holy moments. Just go with it.

Would you like some specific examples of how family worship plays out in our home? I'd be happy to share. Click here to read Part 2.

Joshua 24:15

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve,

whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

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#familyworship #bible #biblestudy

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