For centuries, the life of the church and the culture have been impacted by the type of worship which is practiced in the home. All homes are marked out by worship, and therefore it is incumbent on us all to be diligent in seeking that our families worship the one true God. Richard Baxter captures the essence of this in his work, The Reformed Pastor (1656):
The life of religion, and the welfare and glory of both the Church and the State, depend much on family government and duty. If we suffer the neglect of this, we shall undo all…If you desire the reformation of the welfare of your people, do all you can to promote family religion…You are not like to see any general reformation, till you procure family reformation. Some little religion there may be, here and there; but while it is confined to single persons, and is not promoted in families, it will not prosper, nor promise much future increase.
While there are many, many helpful resources for families to begin in family worship, we have found that simplicity is a virtue. Taking wisdom from the helpful writing of Don Whitney, we commend men to do at least three things in family worship:
- Read – Read the Bible to your family. Take time to savor and enjoy God’s written Word together. Some may set out on a One-Year Reading Plan, while others may take a Proverb a day. The Scripture is the center-piece of our lives and our families. Begin today reading God’s Word with whomever God brings to your house!
- Pray – Those things that we read together should be committed to God in prayer. While you might also include regular prayer for members of your family and friends, consider focusing the prayers on what you’ve heard from Scripture. Fathers might frequently lead in this, or encourage other members of the home to participate.
- Sing – When asked about musical skill a man once said, “the only thing I play is the radio!” While this may be true for you, there are many ways to incorporate music into family worship. Some may have musicians in the home and can include instruments, others may enjoy just the sound of the family’s voices singing A Capella, and many may plug in the iPod to the speakers and sing along with good recordings. No matter how you do it, God is deserving of your praises and the praises of all those in your home.
Hopefully, the encouragement to read, pray, and sing is a starting point for many. As families grow in this habit and as they mature, things like memorization, catechism, theological reading, and much more might be included for God’s glory in your home.
Need More Help?
A great “next step” for any head-of-household would be to read this helpful article series posted at Ligonier Ministries. It will inform, encourage, and equip anyone with a fuller vision of this key means to a grace-filled home.