Family Worship 101

Family Worship 101

Family Worship 101

Family Worship 101

How will your children learn to pray? How will your children learn about the Bible? How will your children learn about salvation?

“Well, the church of course! … Right?”

While the church should play an important role in a child’s spiritual development, it is certainly not supposed to be the only place, or even the primary place, where children learn about the Lord. Would you be surprised to hear that you, the parent, are actually to be their primary Bible teachers and that your home is where they should primarily learn about the things of God? Sadly, the vast majority of Christian parents have relinquished this role to the local church. In the process, they have neglected their God-ordained personal responsibility to teach their children about God. For example, look at the commandment by God to the Israelite parents:

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. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

As you can see, the parents were clearly assigned, by God, the responsibility of daily teaching the Word of God to their children. Such lessons were not reserved for only one day per week, and certainly not relegated over to someone else to do. The task of teaching the next generation about God was the responsibility of the parents. 

As I have shared before, I thought I was fulfilling my role as a Christian father pretty well, by saying a prayer with the kids at night, reading a verse, and making sure that they were in church every week. However, while on the campus of Ligonier Academy, in Sanford Florida, I was shaken to the core as Sinclair Ferguson pointed out how the next generation is being lost due to parental neglect. 

Long story short, after sulking for a moment, I realized that he was right and I began to immediately implement a more thorough plan to teach and equip my children with God’s Word.

There is quite a bit of liberty in how and when you would like to do this with your family, but I am going to go over how I accomplish family worship in our house. Feel free to use all of it, some of it, or create your own plan.

Our Morning Routine:

7:45-or 8:00 A.M. Breakfast

Eat breakfast with the family at one table while listening to lyrically sound worship music. 

8:00-8:15 A.M. Family Worship

As breakfast ends, I choose one of the options below. The entire time of family worship takes about 15-20 minutes.

  1. Bible Reading

Pick a book of the Bible and read through it. I will usually read about half of a chapter, and then discuss it. A good Study Bible is a valuable tool personal and family Bible study. I recommend the ESV Study Bible or the Reformation Study Bible. 

  1. Sermon Review

On this day, we go over the Sunday sermon together. This encourages everyone to pay attention, and perhaps to even take notes. Odds are, your pastor might send you his notes, if asked.

  1. Catechism

A catechism is a method of education that involves learning in a question and answer format. It was teaching that was used by the reformers to get sound theology to the masses. 

Martin Luther spent many mornings teaching his children and the neighborhood kids the Bible, but soon realized that if he wanted to reach more families, then he needed to equip the parents all across Germany. This he did by writing a catechism. 

In our home, we spent about three years learning and memorizing a catechism that has 140 questions. We would do this by learning a new one question and answer set each week or so, reviewing the prior questions and answers, and sometimes reading ahead to make them familiar with the upcoming information. Feel free to stop and elaborate on a question, to make sure that they are understanding what they are memorizing.

  1. Scripture Memory

Each week, we work on memorizing one new scripture. I choose a passage, read it, and teach on it for a moment. We then take turns trying to say the verse from memory. We also use this time take turns going over our list of previously memorized verses. You may also want to use this time to memorize the books of the Bible, the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, and the Apostle’s Creed.

  1. Church History

There are lots of lessons that need to be learned from the Christians that came before us. Unfortunately, such information is not regularly taught accept on the seminary level. Depending on the ages of your family members, you may want to spend a few minutes reading from a Church History book designed for kids or summarize an event or great Christian of the past from a church history book. 

  1. Christian Theology

I highly recommend a systematic theology book in every Christian home. Such books are wonderful resources which will give you lots of theological points of interest to cover with your family.

  1. Bible Art

Many times, sometimes even for months on end, the kids will be assigned the task of drawing a visual aid to help them with the Bible lesson that day. Creating these visual aids is another way for the lesson to be repeated in their mind. When I come home in the afternoon, the kids are excited to show me their art.

8:15-8:20 A.M. Prayer Time

I pray, you pray, we all pray. You are teaching your children how to pray, so don’t expect too much at first. Eventually, let them contribute in small ways and let it grow from there. Have them think of something to thank God for or someone to pray to God about. Sometimes we like to end by allowing everyone to contribute a sentence or two of prayer. 

Basics of Family Worship

When: Choose a time that is most conducive with your family. For some, this is in the morning. However, if that time is too hectic, then maybe after supper could be a good alternative. 

Question: Should we do this every day? 

Answer: Our general rule that we operate by is that we may miss one day now and then, but we strive never to miss two in a row. 

Summary:

As a parent, you have a million things on your plate to accomplish. But I want to encourage you to move this one to a daily top priority. Don’t get overwhelmed by the task. Most importantly just start. Anything is better than nothing. Before you know it, family worship will become an as normal part of your family’s day as eating breakfast. 

Don’t think of this as a sprint, but a long journey of slowly but surely teaching your children about God. 
 
~ Trey Talley


Do your children have the same faith?

Do your children have the same faith?

Do your children have the same faith?

Do your children have the same faith?

Do your children have the same faith?Has your faith been passed to your children? 

Do they believe that God created all things?  

Do they believe that there is only one God? 

Do they know that they are sinners who need forgiveness? 

Do they know that Jesus is God? 

Do they know what Jesus has done to bring about salvation? 

Do they know how to be made right before God? 

The best way to find out is to go ask them. Right now! Go see what they say to these questions.

Sadly, many parents are shocked to find out that their children do not share the faith with them.

Sometimes this is because Christian parents just assume that their children are acquiring all of the information they need to have right belief. However, often the parents are not personally involved in the instruction process. Many do not even check to see if their children are acquiring basic doctrines of Christianity.

We must remember that the teachings of Christianity are not learned by osmosis. 

Children are born without any knowledge of God’s Word. They must be diligently and consistently taught the Bible, or the will not know it. If they are not taught the right knowledge of God, they will grow up not seeing the Bible as God’s supreme rule of belief and behavior in their lives. 

By the time these children get to be teens and young adults, we are finding that their beliefs are totally different from their Christian parents. 

How did this happen? 

Most likely, the parents assumed that Christianity would just be automatically learned, however, Christianity must be intentionally taught.

Timothy is an excellent example of a young man who believed like his parent, and even his grandparent. 

Paul wrote, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim. 1:5). 

Here we have an example of three generations of right faith.

How did the faith get passed down? 

We find the answer in the same letter to Timothy when Paul wrote, “but as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:15-17). 

It appears that Timothy had been taught the Word of God by his mother and grandmother from the time he was a very young child. Now as a young man, Timothy possesses the same beliefs as his mother and grandmother. 

What are the benefits of teaching a child the Bible? 

According to Paul, the Bible:

  1. Educates a child about salvation.
  2. Teaches a child right belief.
  3. Calls out a child’s wrong belief and wrong behavior.
  4. Corrects a child’s incorrect belief and behavior.
  5. Trains a child how to live as God has commanded.
  6. Equips a child to work for God.

 

Long story short, make sure that you are passing down Christianity to the next generation by intentionally and consistently teaching your children from the Word of God.