Family Worship. In a day and age filled with distractions, most of them having no eternal value, consistency in family worship is difficult. One reason might be that Christian fathers simply over-think it.
A Recent Email
Earlier this week I received an email from a dad in Oklahoma. He wrote:
Good morning once again! It is a blessing to email you this morning. I have been following you for many years. You mentioned your family worship time this morning [during the Bible Fellowship Reading broadcast]. I am currently struggling with consistency in this (prayer request).
God has been showing me over the years that obedience is worship, not just lifting my emotional hands in song.
Would you be willing to share what your family worship time looks like and any resources you would recommend.?
My wife and I have three children in the home ranging from 5-11 and my burden is that I don’t make the same mistake I made with my now two adult children.
Thank you for your time!
You can hear the sincerity, struggle, and soul-searching in the words of this dad. I can relate to this Christian man.
Family Worship in the Miano Home
Here’s my reply. I hope this will encourage others.
Hi, [Name Removed].
So very glad you joined us this morning.
Like you, I struggled for many years to have consistency in leading my family in worship.
A 20-year career in law enforcement followed by as many years in full-time ministry is, of course, no excuse. But it only added to the challenges in this area of shepherding my family.
With our three daughters all grown and only one remaining in the home (she’s 29, the other two are married with children), I determined that it is never too late to do that which is right.
I have found simplicity is a key to consistency in family worship.
Here’s what our nightly family worship looks like. Needless to say, sharing this is not to suggest that this is the model for everyone. It works for us. And, so, maybe it will be helpful to you, brother. That’s my hope.
1. We begin with prayer. All three of us pray (again, we’re all adults and believers). We will spend just a few minutes discussing what and for whom we will pray. Unless my wife and daughter have a particular burden for which they want to pray, I will assign each of us topics/matters/people. I have all pray in order to shepherd my family in their personal prayer life.
2. We then sing a couple hymns from the Grace Hymnal (https://hymnsofgrace.com/collections/hymns-of-grace-hymnal-editions). Of course, sing the biblical hymns and choruses to which you are accustomed. We use the same hymnal from which my church sings during our gatherings.
In times past (and we may start again) I have read from “The Valley of Vision” prayer book.
4. Bible Reading: I will then read one or more chapters from the Word of God. As I mentioned during the broadcast, we are currently reading from the Wuest Expanded Translation. Considering the age of your children, it might be a little heady for them. However, I highly recommend reading to your family whatever translation you normally read yourself, to your children. Children’s bibles, by and large, are train wrecks, almost always inaccurate, and treat the Bible like fairytales.
5. Once I complete the reading, I will ask what, if anything, stood out to my wife and daughter. Or, I will point out certain things in the text to foster discussion. Some evenings we spend a good amount of time in discussion. Other evenings, there is little or no discussion.
Everything I shared above encompasses about 30-60 minutes (sometimes more depending on the depth of the conversation following the Bible reading).
A challenge for many Christian dads is the thought that they have to be a scholar, a professor, and/or a theologian to lead their family in worship. Maybe you are all these things. Praise God. Maybe you are none of these things. Again, praise God.
No matter where you land on some arbitrary, theological, intellectual spectrum, one thing is certain. You are a husband and father. One thing is certain. You are the shepherd of your family. Be that guy. And don’t worry about being anyone or anything else.
I often tell people that when it comes to biblical effectiveness in evangelism, the key is simple: obedience, faithfulness, and love. Results are not a barometer for effectiveness in evangelism.
Brother, the same holds true in leading family worship. If you are obedient, faithful, and loving in the task, then you are going to lead your family well in worship. The results are up to God.
I hope this is both helpful and encouraging.
Please don’t hesitate to call on me if I can be of any further assistance.
I hope you found encouragement from this email exchange. If you did, please let me know in the below comment section.
I would also love to hear what family worship looks like in your household.