Family Worship… at home

Crossroads Church is committed to strengthening families. We believe one way a family can grow stronger is to experience family worship. Unfortunately, family worship is seldom discussed or practiced in our modern (or post-modern) culture. When we speak of family worship, it is more than merely sitting together during a Sunday worship service. What is in focus here is a time during the week set aside for the family (household) to pray and soak in the scriptures together. In life, our relationships become stronger through experiences, time together and conversations. Likewise in family life, we draw closer by experiencing life together. Research has consistently shown that families who share a meal together at the table are closer than families who don’t. If physical food can accomplish this, how much greater could spiritual food transform the family. Family, in this context, is anyone you share your home with. You do not need to have children to participate in family worship. A husband and wife can have precious family worship. Family worship is about those in the home coming together on a consistent basis to focus on God. Prayer, scripture, singing, and even confession are welcome elements during family worship. The point here is for the family to pause together, without any outside distraction, to love God and each other. When the husband takes his God-given role as spiritual leader in the home, the wife and children benefit. When the wife takes her God-given role to love her husband and train her children in the ways of God, the entire family benefits. When the children watch dad and mom praying together and seeking God as their comfort and support, the entire next generation will benefit. We encourage every family, no matter how many or few members there are, to establish family worship in your home today.
Some common questions about family worship:
* What does this family worship look like and what do we do? Each home will vary.
* Do we need a pastor and a worship leader? Well, no and yes. You do not need an ordained pastor from the church, but someone in the home will lead like a pastor, and someone else could help with singing.
* How long should it be? This will vary based on desire, ages in family, and opportunity.
Here is a sample order of family worship:
Pray – This is just an opening prayer. You could use the Psalms as a prompter of heart-felt desire for God.
Sing – Pick a chorus or a hymn that you know fairly well or pick out a new song and make it a “song of the month”
Scripture – Read a portion of scripture and discuss it – you may want to start with the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17 or the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-10, or just read through an entire Bible book a chapter at a time.
Memorize – Pick a verse each week that the entire family will commit to memory. You could use the ABC verses that many of the children of Crossroads Church have used (these are great for children and adults too!)
Catechize – Use a catechism to read, memorize, and review. Catechism was a commonly used method with families for centuries. The Catechism has a series of questions and answers that teach doctrine. If a family worked through an entire catechism, their knowledge of God and the Bible would equal or even exceed many who have been to seminary!
Share – Use this time to have everyone share something wonderful or difficult in their life. This may also include confession and forgiveness with others in the household. Keeping a clean slate is needed in a family!
Pray – This time would be greatly used if everyone was encouraged to pray aloud. No one needs to pray eloquent 30-minute prayers, but getting everyone comfortable talking to God with others, even if just a sentence, is a beautiful thing.
Here are a few resources that helpful:
What will it be for your family? The only combination that is absolutely necessary is God, your family, and His truth.
Testimony from Pastor Chris Jordan: Through the years, my family has had various approaches to our family worship time. We have always used the Bible, but have implemented it’s teaching in creative ways. We have also found helpful resources that have directed our family worship. There have been awe inspiring times of Bible teaching and singing that lasted over an hour. There have also been times when crying infants have shorten our time to just 10-15 minutes. We have had seasons of consistency that allowed family worship every night before bedtime. While at other times, I confess, we’ve struggled to find one time during a 2-3 week span to “squeeze” it in. Please hear me though: the motivation to have family worship has not been guilt motivated. I do not beat myself down when we miss it. Rather, I am motivated to participate and lead my family in worship because I know that it shows each member the love I truly have for them and our God. It is often a challenge to keep a consistent time, because life and schedules are not consistent. But I continue to strive to meet the challenge and to overcome any obstacle I may face. This battle is worth the fight! My God is worthy and my family worth it! As the family goes, so goes the church, so goes the world!