It is widely known that habits are primarily formed at home, and children often imitate their parent’s behavior, including simple habits like expressing gratitude, returning items to their proper place, and saying “thank you.” While manners and politeness are crucial, for Christian parents, it is even more important to instill in their children the importance of cultivating a personal relationship with God through daily practices such as prayers, devotionals, reflective journaling, and practicing gratitude. Additionally, family worship is an important habit to encourage children within the household.
The Bible highlights the importance of family worship to pass on faith and spiritual values to future generations. It emphasizes the responsibility of parents to teach their children about God’s word and to lead them in worship and prayer. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 instructs parents to diligently teach their children of God’s commands and talk about them throughout the day. Psalm 78:4-7 urges parents to share God’s works with their children so that they may put their trust in God and obey His commandments. By establishing a habit of family worship, parents can create a foundation of faith that can sustain their children throughout their lives.
Many Christian schools that adopt a holistic approach to learning guide students through the process of developing worship habits so that they know how to get started and continue their journey with Christ. However, for parents, this can be a challenging subject to tackle. With many parents rushing to work in the morning and students swamped with after-school activities and homework, it is understandable to find it challenging to make time for family worship.
To tackle this challenge, we’ve compiled 10 tips to make family worship a habit for your family and other suggestions on putting Christ at the center of your household!
1. Lead by Example
Children tend to absorb and mimic the behaviors, attitudes, and values of their parents or caregivers. In this instance, it is paramount for parents to take the initiative and encourage children to develop these habits to deepen their relationship with God by leading by example. Parents can set the stage by establishing a consistent schedule and creating a sacred space within the home for these gatherings. Engaging in meaningful rituals, such as prayer, reading religious texts, and engaging in discussions about spirituality, allows parents to model the significance of these practices. Through these actions, you can show your children the value of faith, love, and unity, fostering a deep sense of belonging and guiding them toward a lifelong journey of spiritual growth and fulfillment.
2. Find a Time that Works
Family worship can be done in many ways, such as through morning or nightly devotions filled with bible study, short worship sessions, and an opening and closing prayer. In the bible, Jesus taught his disciples to pray with humility and sincerity and emphasized the significance of our prayer quality. We want to give our best appreciation and undivided attention when we come to God to worship Him.
To get started, choose a consistent time that works for your family’s schedule and block that time every day to focus on the scripture. Many people opt for the morning since it can be a great way to start the day. As parents, you can lead the topic of discussion and encourage children to start each day with a prayer. This creates a regular worship habit and opens up communication with your children, allowing you to listen to their thoughts, challenges, and anything they wish to share.
Coming together again in the evening can also be an excellent way to conclude the day. As a Christ-centered family, convening around the dinner table to share about each other’s day and selecting Bible verses that apply to everyone’s circumstances can also assist children in comprehending why adopting the Bible as a guiding principle is essential and beneficial.
3. Choose Weekly Themes
Having a weekly theme for your family worship sessions can be a great way to stay on track with the Bible teachings you want to focus on. When choosing a theme for your family worship time, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, consider your family’s needs. Are there any particular struggles or challenges your family faces that could benefit from a specific theme? For example, if your family is struggling with anxiety, you may want to choose a theme related to peace or trust in God.
Not only that, but you can also choose themes based on the time of year or upcoming holidays. For example, during the Advent season leading up to Christmas, you could choose a theme related to the birth of Jesus or the gift of giving. Another option is to choose themes based on specific books of the Bible or biblical characters. This can be a great way to explore different stories and teachings more in-depth.
Lastly, it’s important to keep your children’s interests and passions in mind. If they have a specific bible story they enjoyed listening to in school, delve deeper into that part of the scripture. The key is choosing relevant and engaging themes for your family that help you grow closer to God and each other.
4. Get Everyone Involved
Family worship is more fun when all hands are on deck! Involving everyone in planning can be a great way to build excitement and engagement around your weekly themes. Brainstorming ideas together and assigning specific tasks, such as worship and prayer leaders, as well as the person leading the discussion, can teach children to start building leadership skills from home. Aside from planning, you can also encourage participation by allowing everyone to share their thoughts and reflections on the topic being discussed. This can help foster open communication and create a safe space for everyone to express their opinions and feelings. Another way to get everyone involved is to vary the activities each week. For example, one week, you may focus on prayer, while the next week, you may choose to sing worship songs or engage in a creative activity like drawing or writing. This can help keep things fresh and interesting and allows everyone to find a way to connect with God and each other.
5. Limit Distractions
Blocking out distractions during family worship time is essential for creating a focused and meaningful experience. When it’s time to focus on the Bible, it’s important to put away things that can be distracting, such as phones, video games, and toys. It can be tempting for parents to check emails or respond to messages during this time, but doing so can take away from the quality of the experience. Turning off the TV and putting away electronic devices allows you to create a space free from outside distractions and fully focused on worship. Additionally, by eliminating distractions, you can create a sense of unity and togetherness among family members, allowing everyone to fully connect with each other and God. So, when it’s time for family worship, make sure to set aside any distractions and fully commit to the experience.
6. Don’t Overcomplicate It!
Keeping things simple when it comes to family worship is key. Planning elaborate activities, setting aside a large block of time, and getting your children involved can get overwhelming quickly. However, starting small and dedicating a few minutes each day can have a major impact on your family’s spiritual journey.
Starting small means choosing a simple activity, such as singing a worship song, reading, or watching a video on a biblical story, which can help build a foundation for more meaningful worship experiences down the road.
For example, you can encourage your children to express their musical talents while showcasing their love and adoration toward God. The Bible mentions music numerous times, many of which are in the context of worship.
In Psalm 150:3-5, we are called to worship God using musical instruments.
“Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!”
Verse 5 also mentions,
“Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”
Our worship is not only limited to musical instruments but also includes songs of praise, such as those mentioned in Colossians 3:16.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
From this, we know that music can be one of the powerful tools to connect with God on a deeper level and express our emotions and desires in a way that honors Him. Remember, the key is to focus on building the habit of engaging in purposeful worship rather than getting bogged down by the idea of creating perfect or elaborate worship experiences.
7. Be Flexible
As with any new habit, it’s important to be flexible when it comes to family worship. Sometimes as parents, our meetings can run late, we may have some unfinished errands, and other unexpected hindrances. Don’t let these things discourage you from conducting family worship, and instead, be willing to make adjustments as needed, whether changing the time of day you have family worship or shortening the duration of the activity. The key is to keep these interruptions from derailing your efforts to establish a regular family worship routine. By remaining flexible and adaptable, you can ensure that your family worship time remains a meaningful and consistent part of your family’s routine.
8. Include Prayer Requests
During family worship, encourage your spouse and children to share their needs and concerns and take the time to listen and offer support. This can be particularly important for children, who may be struggling with issues they don’t feel comfortable sharing outside the home. By providing a safe and supportive space for prayer requests, you can help your children develop a closer relationship with God and a more profound sense of trust and connection with one another. Additionally, praying for each other’s needs and concerns can help build empathy and compassion within your family and strengthen your bonds as you support each other through life’s challenges.
9. Encourage Questions
Learning about the Bible can be difficult for children. That’s why it’s important to encourage questions as you go. Encourage them to ask questions about the stories they hear and the lessons they learn to foster a sense of curiosity and critical thinking skills that can benefit them in other areas of their lives. This will help them understand and engage with the material more deeply, showing them that their curiosity is valued and that they are free to explore their faith in a safe and supportive environment. Lastly, consider using age-appropriate language and illustrations to make complex biblical concepts more accessible and relatable for your children. So feel free to address their questions; if you don’t know the answer, take the opportunity to learn together.
10. Keep a Journal
Keeping a reflection journal for family worship can be a great way to document your family’s spiritual journey. Encourage everyone in the family to write down their thoughts, questions, and observations after worship time. Not only does this help solidify what has been learned, but it also provides an opportunity for family members to share their thoughts and insights. You can set aside a few minutes every week to reflect on the worship sessions and jot them down in your journal. Over time, you can look back and see how your family has grown and progressed in their understanding of God and the Bible. This can be a powerful tool in helping your family stay connected to each other and God.
Establishing family worship habits can be a wonderful way to connect with God as a family. When we consistently set aside time to focus on scripture, prayer, and worship, our families can deepen their faith and grow closer together. Remember to keep it simple, be flexible, and get everyone involved. Encourage questions, assign tasks, and consider incorporating music and weekly themes to keep things interesting. And remember the importance of reflection and prayer requests.
Lastly, remember that perfection is not the end goal when it comes to family worship. Rather, it’s about creating a space where everyone feels welcomed, loved, accepted, and encouraged in their relationship with God. Embrace the imperfect and unexpected moments that will inevitably arise, and focus on your spiritual growth as a family.
So start today with open arms and a humble heart, and watch your family’s faith blooms through the power of shared worship!