The Family Worship Experiment


It is certainly trendy in the crowds I run in to do all sorts of “old” things.  In my homeschool circles I am taught that older books, written from a first person perspective, are better for children than text books written by professionals with an agenda to fulfill. In the church we are looking back to old things like catechism and creeds. Old is in. At least in my crowds.

One thing that keeps popping up in blogs I read and catalogs I peruse is this idea of Family Worship.  Is “Family Worship” just family devotions with an old name? hmm. I don’t know. But what I do know is that sometimes God moves me through books and sometimes I read something and it just pierces me and makes sense and I can’t wait to do it.  This happened with Elisabeth Elliot and morning prayer. After reading that she woke up at 4am every morning with a blanket and a journal and just prayed, I HAD to do it.  I have been successful at this off and on since I read that, but by far, some of my sweetest times with God have been in the morning hours of 5 and 6am in this Elisabeth Elliot inspired prayer.

Enter Family Worship.  I’ve been mulling over it for a while, Tony and I often tell people in premarital counseling that we DON’T do family devotions. We think they CAN be good, but we have preferred a more natural approach and flow of life where we pray as things come up and speak of God’s word often and it is natural and normal for all involved. And that is true.

But then I started reading Life Together by Bonhoeffer and the section on Family Worship just struck me. I MUST DO THIS!

“For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and haunted by the various kinds of concerns they face during the working day. The Lord stands above the new day, for God has made it. All the darkness and confusion of the night with its dreams gives way to the clear light of Jesus Christ and his awakening Word. All restlessness, all impurity, all worry and anxiety flee before him. Therefore, in the early morning hours of the day may our many thoughts and our many idle words be silent, and may the first thought and the first word belong to the one to whom our whole life belongs. [38]“ Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Eph. 5: 14).”Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

“Scripture reading, song, and prayer should be part of daily morning worship together. Daily morning worship will take as many different forms as there are communities. That is the way it is bound to be. When a community living together includes children, it needs a different sort of daily worship than a community of seminarians. 15 It is by no means healthy when one becomes like the other, when, for example, a brotherhood of seminarians is content with a form of family daily worship for children. However, the word of Scripture, the hymns of the church, and the prayer of the community should form a part of every daily worship that they share together.” Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

I read a blog that said do 10 minutes of family worship everyday instead of 45 minutes on Monday and none on Tuesday.

So we tried it today.  We called all the kids into our room, they piled on our bed and we read Psalm 1. We sang a song and we prayed for our day.  It was that simple and the kids didn’t sing, but they didn’t leave either. 🙂

I thought about waiting to see if this was going to stick, if it was going to be a habit before telling you about it… But that wouldn’t be real, that wouldn’t be sharing what God is stirring in my heart and our household. So, today we did Family Worship. It must have a place in the schedule if it is going to happen around here and so it has taken the 7:15 slot. We will do family worship and then the kids will dress and be ready for breakfast at 8 as usual.

I’ll tell you how it goes tomorrow. 🙂

Articles I skimmed:

Leading Family Worship (Desiring God)

The What, When and How of Family Worship (TGC)

A Simple Guide to Family Worship

The Clans of the Proud

We speak of unity,
And loving one another.
Do we love outside our community,
The one God calls our brother?

I’m not talking about a one world religion.
I’m talking about division,
And pride,
And separating into sides.

The air fills with the sound,
Of drums beating loud.
To tribes we are bound,
The clans of the proud.

In love, His blood was shed.
In humility He came and died.
By His grace we have been led.
In greed, we mock Him with our pride.

There is sweet unity in our cause.
Strength and wisdom yet to glean.
For one Savior we seek applause.
On one God we all do lean.

We speak of unity,
And loving one another.
Do we love outside our community,
The one God calls our brother?