Family Worship

For those of you who are parents, you should consider strongly the practice of family worship. Here is some advice on family worship I ran across in a book called, The Shepherd’s Scrapbook:

My own answer is you start family
worship as soon as possible, as soon as one is married, and continue it
after children come along, no matter how young the children are (and
the younger the better). The point is not for the youngest children to
be able to comprehend (or even to sit still during it!). The point is
impress upon them, by paternal example the priority of God and his word
in all of life. They learn this, even if they comprehend nothing in the
reading, praying and singing, simply by seeing a father pausing day
after day to read the word with his family.

Here is what I said in Give Praise to God (P&R):

“Now
there is a whole host of practical questions and problems that come to
mind once we determine to begin family worship. How long should it
last? It should be regularly brief, as little as 10 minutes when the
children are very young. Gradually, it will run a little longer as they
grow older and conversations strike up. Don’t kill it by trying to go
too long. Pace yourself. Regularity and repetition is the key. When
should we do family worship? When it works – morning/breakfast,
suppertime or bedtime are the three most common times.

“…
There are dozens of potential hindrances: a lack of discipline, a lack
of sense of the importance of family worship, a lack of experience of
family worship in one’s own upbringing and more.

“But
above all, there is the enemy of idealism. You have this picture of a
Puritan family sitting around the table attentively and reverently
reading the whole book of 1 Chronicles at a sitting, singing half the
Psalter from memory, and praying for ninety minutes, and then you look
around your table and your wife is rolling her eyes, your two-year old
is throwing left-over spaghetti around the kitchen, your eight-year old
is making faces at her sister and your teenager would rather do
calculus. Don’t let the gap between the ideal and the reality stop you!
Those unattentive children will grow up and thank you for persevering,
and the memories of a father who loved them enough to make that kind of
an effort will etch a permanent affection in their hearts.”

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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