What is Family Worship?
In the church, you'll often hear people talk about and encourage family worship. When we say family worship we mean intentional times of gathering the family together to worship God through the reading of God's Word, prayer, and song. We think it's important that the family be a training grounds for what it looks like when the church gathers. So the elements of a worship service should be present!
Why worship together as a family?
The first and most basic reason is that God is worthy of worship. The reason you should worship as a family or with your church or as an individual Christian is because God is worthy to be praised! God is going to receive the praise and worship from people among all the nations for all eternity. We should model this at home.
A second reason that is related to the first is for our own joy in the Lord. God pursues our joy which is meant to be found in Him. We remind ourselves and our families of His goodness and glory which leads to our joy when we worship Him together.
A third reason is that the Christian life is one of community. A family of Christians who only read the Bible, pray, and otherwise worship God by themselves falls short of the corporate biblical picture.
As I mentioned above, another and primary reason is training. This is why we encourage including children in the worship service with the church as early as possible. Worship is a language. We include children in worship for the same reason we speak to newborn babies. We are teaching them a language they don't yet know but by God's grace they one day will.
How do you do it?
This question could be answered in lots of ways. The simplest way to begin is by describing the key elements I believe should be emphasized when the family gathers to worship. Think: read, say, pray, sing.
Read: Choose a passage or even a single verse and read it out loud. We preach from the ESV. Other translations that you may find child-friendly are the NIV and NIrV (the smaller the passage the better, particularly for young children)
Say: Talk briefly about what it means. Ask guiding questions to discuss the verse. What does it mean? How do we obey this? What questions do you have? What does this verse make you think of? Are there sins we should confess and repent from as a result? How can we give thanks to God or praise Him in light of this passage? What should we ask God for?
Pray: Allow the Scripture to inform what you pray for in response.
Sing: Sing a short hymn or familiar worship song. Borrow a hymnal from the church, sing with just your voices, play an instrument to accompany, or use recorded music to sing. Singing songs is a great way to teach biblical truths.
This fall, the church will be releasing a series of family devotions with these and other suggested elements meant to aid you in worshiping as a family. There are lots of great resources out there. One in particular I recommend is A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home. <-- click this link for more info
God is worthy of all worship. He is worthy of the worship of our families. Let us be faithful to lead our families to do so!