FAMILY WORSHIP: Part 4 - Get Started!
Last week we looked at the WHY behind Family Worship. This week we conclude by looking at the HOW. But a quick note about the role of singles in family worship.
WHAT ABOUT SINGLES?: If you are single, thank you for being a part of the body here at Kaleo Church. We have had the privilege of having so many singles in our home over the years. They have watched us lead family worship, discipline, and talk in the informal about God’s redemptive drama. In fact, some of Olivia and Hadley’s favorite people are those singles who have been a part of our lives.
You may be asking, “What is my role in family worship if I am single and don’t have kids?” Simply put, be a part of the family of God. In Ephesians 5, just prior to the passages for husbands and wives, and kids, Paul describes the local church as a Spirit-filled family that submits to one another. This means that the kids of the church need to see singles in their homes telling their story of redemption. Kids need to see singles in the church doing Bible study, praying, and singing with their parents. This is why I love our Missional Community. We have a ton of singles and they don’t have a choice but to see the chaos of raising kids. Their vision of quiet, ordered, Christianity flies out the window as kids interrupt over and over.
HOW TO DO FAMILY WORSHIP: Now, we’ve talked about the informal quite a bit and Josh did a wonderful job giving us a vision of this stuff. What I want to do is give a picture of HOW to do a formal time of family worship. Like I said earlier, a lot of us were not exposed to this and we need to start somewhere. To start with the formal is a great way to become more comfortable with the informal.
A lot of this will change depending on the age of the kids. Knowing that our church is primarily young kids, I want to start there.
- Set apart a time where the whole family is together (breakfast, dinner, prior to bedtime).
- I suggest starting with the Jesus Storybook Bible if you are new to this. It has captivating pictures, is Gospel-centered, and only takes a couple minutes to read.
- Read the story: Easier said than done. Half of family worship is telling your kids, “sit still, stop picking your nose, leave your sister alone.” Please don’t let this discourage you.
Donald Whitney in his book Family Worship argues that at a young age, babies learn through watching. He says that when you make a family devotional, prayer, and singing a regular habit, although the babies may not understand the story, they learn that this consistent rhythm of opening this big book, closing our eyes and talking, and singing MUST BE IMPORTANT things in our family. Hang in there with the young kiddos.
- After the story, ask: “What did we learn about God from this story? What did we learn about ourselves?
- Sing a song (We use a CD, New City Catechism app, etc.).
- Lastly: Guess what, parents? You will mess up some days. You will feel too tired or lazy to lead your kiddos in this. Every day begins with new mercies from God. Don’t let your failure from the day(s) before make you quit. Start again. Each day is a new opportunity.
- Also, and I think this may be one of the most neglected but vital parts of family worship. Parents and singles: You are called to lead in confessing your sins, repenting, and forgiving. It is a sad and damaging offense to the Gospel when we teach our kids all these thing but never repent to them. When we talk about Christ’s forgiveness but are slow to forgive our spouse or kids, we lie. Let’s be a truthful people who lead in these things so our kids can know the doctrine and application of God’s great redemption.