If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now.”1
Family worship is the regular, intentional gathering as a family unit to worship God by reading Scripture, praying, singing praise, and finding ways to be involved in ministry and evangelism together. Traditionally, family worships may include a formula: read, pray, sing, and serve.
2 But there are many creative ways to do it, and every Christian family can benefit from such time every day.
Although research by the Barna Group shows that 85 percent of parents surveyed believe they are primarily responsible for the moral and spiritual development of their children,
3 among “churched” families fewer than 10 percent read the Bible, pray (other than at meals), or participate in an act of service as a family in a typical week. One out of 20 have a family worship experience outside of church in a typical month.4 Of active Adventists, 40 percent of families never have worship at home,5 27 percent have worship on a daily basis,6 and 33 percent have family worship once a week.7
While the “read, pray, sing, serve” formula is valuable, families struggling to build a worship habit needn’t feel all is lost if it doesn’t quite fall into this pattern. Simple can still be very effective.
Children should learn to worship God in their early years so they may respect Him in their later years. They need to learn how to regard Him as their Creator, Lord, and Savior and honor Him in all they say and do. Worshipping God also brings the family closer together with each other and with God by honoring God’s Word and learning to live by it.
Family worship assists in the faith development of children by establishing faith, personal conviction, and doctrine. The home makes an excellent Bible school where children can be grounded in faith to face the humanistic, evolutionary philosophies of modern society.
According to Barna, the probability of someone accepting Christ as Savior decreases with age: 32 percent for ages 5-13; 4 percent for ages 14-18; and 6 percent for age 19 and older.
8 This makes it imperative that families do everything they can to be intentionally active in the religious upbringing of their children.
Praying over problems together in a worship setting builds confidence in the God who answers prayers. All family members have personal needs, and it’s healthy to share them openly together before the Lord. Teenagers, especially, have deep needs but are wary of expressing them for fear of being misunderstood or embarrassed. Additionally, children who learn to pray openly at home can easily transition to praying publicly in church or weekly prayer meetings as they grow up.
Finally, family worship helps us find relevant and meaningful ways to minister in church, the home, and in the world. When a family worships together, it brings the family closer and allows God to use them to bless the world.
There are many creative ways to foster the best environment for family worship, and the possibilities are endless. Here are a few to try out in your home.
Be intentional about family worship on a consistent basis, remembering that something is almost always better than nothing. Make it interesting, practical, Christ-centered, relevant, and participatory for all. Pray for your children and family. Leave them in the hands of God, and He will take care of them.
There will be some common challenges along the way, but the more you show your love and commitment to Jesus, and live the ideals of the Christian life, the more your children will learn from your example. The worship experience they come to value in your home will make the greatest impression on your family.