Parents in our churches often hear that they should be having family worship time, but many don’t know where to start. As leaders, we must equip the parents in our ministries with practical ways to lead family worship. In this post I hope to give you some ways to do just that.
When I was young, we would always have “talk time with daddy” right before going to bed. During this time, dad would read and tell us Bible stories, play games, memorize Scripture and sing hymns. This is how I learned family worship, and it’s the pattern we see in Scripture.
In Deuteronomy 6:4–9, which is called the Shema, God commanded the Israelites to pass down their faith to their children.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 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.
Family worship starts with making Scripture a part of our everyday life. Let’s break down this passage for you to teach parents.
Talk about the Bible when you sit at home
Have faith conversations with your children/teens. Talk about life, culture, friends, relationships, and faith. Bring the discussions back to Scripture. Pray with your children about everything.
When you walk along the road
For my family, that means having conversations during the car ride to school or coming back from church.
When my father was a pastor, every Sunday on our way home he would ask us questions about the message. If we got the answers right we could get dessert. It taught my brother and I to pay more attention in the service.
When you lie down
My wife and I sing songs with our boys when we put them to bed at night. We also pray with them. As time goes on this will morph into talk time with daddy and we will continue memorizing Scripture and reading the Bible, just as my father did with me.
One of the things my dad did was to teach us some of the old hymns. These songs have kept me going through some of the toughest times in my life.
My son has become so used to singing two of these songs that he always mixes them together in a medley. You can never sing one song without the other. We start off singing “Jesus Loves Me” and conclude with the song “God Is So Good.”
Nighttime, before going to bed, is one of the best times to have family worship, as it is more likely that everyone will be there.
When you get up
Teach them to read their Bible. Have conversations with them over breakfast. The point is to always be talking and bringing Scripture into your conversations.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
One of our pastors places Scripture verses on the walls of his home and then teaches these verses to his children. It can be an effective way of Scripture memory.
More ways to equip parents to lead family worship
- Teach each family how to pick out a daily/weekly time and place for worship.
- Equip parents with resources: Bibles for kids or family devotionals.
- Encourage parents to lead vocal worship. Teach them children’s songs, hymns or modern songs that are easy to learn and doctrinally rich.
- Give them questions or Scripture verses based on the message to talk through as a family.
- Empower parents to memorize Scripture as a family
- Other ideas: playing Bible charades, Name that Tune, or another Bible game
I hope this helps as you seek to equip parents in practical ways to have family worship.
What are some ways that you have equipped parents?