The Importance of Family Worship
Written by Mark Wickersham, ECS Director of Spiritual Formation
Before Megan and I adopted Rosalie, Grace Noel, and Josiah Lee, we were blessed to observe godly families we served with in China having family devotions in the evenings. Their beautiful example helped us understand the importance of family worship. God should be worshipped not just on Sunday mornings and during Bible class and chapels at a Christian school, He should be worshipped all the time and in every place. I can’t just allow the local church and Christian school to teach my kids about Jesus. I have the enormous responsibility (and privilege) to lead my family in worshipping God in our home.
Family devotions have been a regular part of our lives, and over the years, they have looked different depending on the age of our kids. When our kids were younger, we sang and danced more. Today, we often watch Bible study videos on RightNow Media. We’ve catechized our kids, read from God’s Word, memorized Scripture together, and used a wide selection of Christian devotionals. We always end our devotions in prayer, and we pray in the same order every time. If we have guests over, we include them in our devotions.
A special time to hear Scripture, pray, and talk about Jesus at home doesn’t have to be long, but it needs to happen. Dinnertime or before bed has worked best for us because we wake up at different times. Our devotions have typically been in the living room or at the dining room table, but there’s no rule saying they can’t be done in a bedroom or bathtub. Be sure to use age-appropriate resources and try to get your kids actively involved in the devotions. Lecturing them for ten minutes probably isn’t best regardless of how theologically correct you are. You want your kids to enjoy learning about Jesus in hopes that they receive Christ as their Lord and Savior and grow in His grace and knowledge.
Regrettably, I’ve made some mistakes when leading family devotions (e.g., failing to get family input, being too serious, lack of consistency). What’s most important is that you’re Bible-based, Christ-centered, and Spirit-filled. If you have family devotions at your home, I would love to hear what you do and what resources have helped your family. If you would like to discuss this topic further with me, please email me ([email protected]) or give me a call (812-477-7777). I would enJOY doing whatever I can to help your family create more meaningful times around God’s Word!
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7