One of the greatest blessings of growing up in a Christian home was the privilege of being taught the Bible from a young age. For a few minutes after supper, my dad would lead us through family devotions.
The few minutes after supper was not formal but simple: dad would read a Bible story, he would ask some general Bible knowledge questions, and then he would ask someone to pray. That’s how it went on a good night.
Other nights, dad would struggle after a long day of work. Sometimes we were on the go, so we missed this time. But we’d pray. If it was one of the children, they might pray really fast so they could get away from the table (not mentioning any names in particular!!!). Other seasons we listened to the Bible on cassette as we ate dessert. Many times I remember groaning or being impatient. But the overall memory is the priority dad made on knowing and loving God together as a family.
The family is the most basic element of society, and it is the church in microcosm. Dads are to function as pastors because, according to Paul, if a man cannot manage his household and lead his wife and children to know and trust Christ, he should not be an elder (1 Tim. 3:4-5). Statistical evidence continually points out that if a family makes gospel ministry a priority, children continue on in the faith. (see this article)
The simplest way for a family to practice evangelism is to start around the dinner table. Family worship does not have to be complicated: read the Bible, pray, and sing. Other elements can supplement family worship: working through New City Catechism, reading a missionary prayer letter, planning a way your family can serve together. But family worship can be simple!
When Moses instructed Israel to walk in the ways of God and follow his commands, he reminded God’s people that when they sat down or walked along the road, they should take every life event to teach the things of God (Deut. 6:4-9). Worship will provoke children and grandchildren to ask questions about the meaning and purpose of God. For this reason the Old Testament leaders discipled the people to be ready to answer the questions of their children (Exod. 12:26; Josh. 4:6).
In the same way, 5-10 minutes of family worship three to five times a week after a meal together will point your family to Christ. A minute of prayer with your child as they crawl into bed will remind them that all things can be trusted into God’s hands. Attending Sunday morning worship together as a family will help you to treasure Christ together. The priority of worship, the Word, and God’s work will speak volumes as you train up the next generation in the instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).
Wanting more for your family and for mine,
Missional Action Plan: Talk with your spouse about an appropriate plan for your family to begin family worship. Pick a gospel to read and start with a narrative. Ask a few questions about the passage. Pray together. Keep it very simple. If you have young children, find a Bible storybook that is age appropriate.
Missional Action Prayer: Lord, would you help my family to grow to know you, love you, and serve you, and may we grow together. Help us to make you a priority when we sit down at a meal, when we lie down to go to sleep, and when we are going about our daily activities. Please work in my family so that we would know, trust, and love you with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Amen.
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.
Click here for more info.