Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Substance of Family Worship

In my last post, I gave three reasons why we should lead our families in the daily worship of God. In this post, I want to describe what a family should do when they gather together for worship. These are the four elements that should be included in family worship.

Read the Scriptures
God’s Word is essential to man’s relationship with God. It is God’s Word that creates, instructs, and sustains God’s people. The example set forth in Scripture is that worship takes place when God meets with his people and communes with them by his Word.

Therefore, whenever the family gathers together for worship the Scriptures must be central. The spiritual leader of the home (which is the father unless he is absent or an unbeliever) should read or designate someone to read a portion of Scripture out loud every time the family gathers together. After reading the Scripture, he should check for clarification and seek ways to apply the passage to the individuals of his household.

Pray Together
Prayer is the means by which we make our requests known to God. It communicates our complete and total dependence on him to provide everything that we need, both physically and spiritually. So when family worship takes place prayer should always be incorporated.

The spiritual leader should pray on behalf of the family and model what it looks like to pray biblically. He should thank God for the many benefits and blessings the family has received from him. He should pray and confess his own sins as well as the sins of the family. He should ask for grace for the members of his family to repent and believe as well as grace to obey God’s commands. He should pray that the gospel would be advanced locally and globally. He should also consider taking prayer requests from the family. At times it would also be appropriate for the spiritual leader to designate prayer to another member of the household.

Sing Praises to God
Music is a gift from God for expressing the worth of God as well as learning doctrinal truths. Scripture is clear that it is appropriate to incorporate music in worship gatherings (see Psalm 33:3; Colossians 3:16).

With that said when the family meets for worship the father should lead or chose someone to lead the family in singing praises to God. He may select the songs himself or ask for requests from others.

Memorize Bible Verses and Catechism Answers
Another important aspect of family worship is the use of a catechism as well as memorizing Bible verses. Both of these are helpful means to ensure our household learns the foundational truths of the Christian faith and develop a biblical worldview.

At the time of family worship, the spiritual leader of the home should practice the memory verse that he has selected and/or ask some catechism questions. The goal of this is for the family to memorize these scriptural truths so that they may call them to mind and act in accordance with these truths.

In my next post, I will give some practical considerations for implementing family worship.

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