During the 2018 Pastor’s Conference at Bethlehem College and Seminary, Dr. Don Whitney lead a sesion titled “Family Worship: Leading as a Father, Mentoring as a Pastor.” During this 45-minute session, Whitney provided an introduction to the what, why, and how of family worship.
God Deserves to Be Worshipped in Our Homes
Whitney discussed how family worship is an essential aspect of Christian parenting. Although it is not explictly shown in Scripture, many passages reveal an implied expectation of worshipping God together as a family in our own home.
The Example of Church History
Additionally, Whitney provided example after example of historical Christian figures who modeled family worship in their own homes. John Chrysostom (347-407) urged that every house should be a church, and every head of a family a spiritual shepherd.
Martin Luther, John Knox, the Puritans, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, and many others all taught the value of family worship and practiced it in their own homes.
A Simple Way to Conduct Family Worship
Whitney’s advice on starting family worship in your own home is to keep it simple. Read a portion of Scripture, pray together, and sing a hymn or other worship song. No preparation is required and it can take as little as 10 minutes, depending on the age and attention spans of your children.
Additional recommendations include Scripture memory and making use of a catechism, which presents theological truths in a question and answer format. For example, check out the New City Catechism (available as an app and with helpful songs for memorization), A Baptist Catechism from John Piper, or the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Whitney’s three primary tips on leading family worship are: 1) Be Brief. 2) Be Consistent. 3) Be Flexible.
You can watch the entire session in the video below:
There are many benefits to leading your home in consistent family worship. Not only will you be able to evangelize your children, you have a set time to invite spiritual questions, your children will see you at your best, you will gather together as a family, your children will hear the Word read, and they will learn as you model prayer to them.
I encourage you to watch the entire session from Don Whitney to learn more about the importance of family worship and to be better equipped to observe it in your own home.
Don Whitney also has a book on the subject, simply titled Family Worship. This short book expands on the information given in the session and will encourage you greatly in starting out.