“What do you do for family worship?”
That was the question I asked my volunteer leaders about six months ago. I asked not because I wanted to check up on their family’s spiritual health. I asked because I was honestly looking for ways in which I could lead my family in worship.
Growing up, my family (although Christian) did not practice family worship. And even though I am a pastor, the idea of worshiping with my family by ourselves at home still feels a little awkward. We have, for a while, prayed together at night, and often even read the Bible together. But I still felt like I wasn’t very good at it. There were restless kids constantly getting up and down. There was yelling. There was crying. There were stuffed animal friends missing. There was fighting over what to read and who got to hold what. There were tantrums so dramatic that I was tempted to cast out demons.
Then I came across an excellent book entitled A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home by Jason Helopoulos (yeah, I’m not sure how pronounce his last name either). Now the book didn’t magically fix everything. But it has given me a much better paradigm and model for family worship. And it is a book I would highly recommend to you for five reasons.
- It’s short. At 126 pages you could easily read it in a week.
- It’s biblical. Jason gives a great overview of family worship in the Bible, and demonstrates, from the Bible, why family worship is worth pursuing today.
- It’s relatable. Jason knows that, for most people, family worship is new and out of their comfort zone. So he provides real-life testimonies from regular families on the benefits of family worship.
- It’s incredibility practical. Jason offers some great practical models of what family worship can look like. He even has age-appropriate discussion questions for parents to ask their children as they read through the Bible.
- It’s from a perspective of grace. Jason is not challenging parents to add one more thing to their already full plate. For him, “Family worship is an instrument through which God gives us grace…It is not something that should be a burden. It is a joy.” Jason’s desire throughout the book is to help families experience more of God’s grace.
If you’re a parent or grandparent who wants to see your family grow in God’s grace, I would encourage you to get this book.
Family worship is by no means perfect at our house. But I can already see the benefits of making the effort. I love hearing my kids sing worship songs, I love hearing my kids pray, and I love hearing my oldest read the Bible. Every night these things happen we experience God’s grace in our family.