How to have family worship,
For the better part of 50 years I have been in church on Sunday. There were decades when we went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening for prayer meeting. Our culture has changed and we worship corporately on Sunday mornings but we still gather throughout the week for Bible studies, ministry activities, prayer, and fellowship. This week I have had many conversations about how weird it feels not to “go” to church on Sunday. I’m there. It is definitely a strange situation for those who love Jesus and His church.
Many are mad at the government, at China, or whoever seems to be the entity they feel is responsible for the current situation. Feelings that our religious freedoms and liberties are being robbed from us are creating confusion and anger. That is understandable and, dare I say for American Christians, a natural reaction. In our lifetimes we’ve never had to be told not to exercise our freedom of assembly and worship. It cuts against the grain.
I have to keep reminding myself of a couple of things as I try to get used to a new norm that we all hope is very temporary. First, this isn’t going to last forever. It may be several weeks of this but we will return to regular routines. Second, the church isn’t where we go, its who we are. Regardless of what our normal routine is, we should always be the church wherever we are.
I’ve thought much about this from the context of what would help our family to make the most of worshiping at home. I’ve come up with a few things to consider that may be helpful for you, too.
1. Sometime before Sunday morning set a time and place where you are going to worship. Giving notice to your family lets them know that this is a priority for you and helps avoid the inevitable arguments of “Not right now. Can’t you see I’m sleeping!”
“Let’s meet in the living room tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. for family worship.”
“We are going to have church in Mom and Dad’s room on the big bed tomorrow morning at 11:00.”
“We’re going to try something fun for our church service tomorrow, since everyone likes to sleep in we’re going to have lunch together as a family and then worship together at 2:00 p.m.”
2. Give everyone a role to play. Getting everyone involved helps create buy-in for something that may feel a little weird at first.
“Nick, can you please make sure that the video is cued up on the living room TV at 9:15?”
“Kim, would you please be ready to pray for us at the beginning of our worship time.”
3. Ask everyone to bring their Bible and open your time with reading God’s Word together. This will help set the tone for the time you will spend together.
4. Lead with humility. Sometimes this is hard because leadership reveals weaknesses. For some it will be difficult to sing along with the worship on the video because your family has never heard you sing. Others may find it challenging because you’ve always gone to church but never led church before. It’s okay to be vulnerable! Be honest going in and share why you’re nervous. Guess what, your not alone!
5. Watch the video all the way through. Some times we’re tempted to fast forward and get on with the next thing. We are wired to move life along and keep things happening. But, if this
situation teaches us anything, we need to slow down and enjoy moments and experiences together with out skipping any chapters along the way.
6. Finish by using the appropriate discussion guides and lessons available on the website to reinforce your family’s faith. Ask questions that are open ended and not yes and no answers. Listen and respond in ways that show you were listening.
“Who can tell me one of the points that pastor made in his message this morning?”
“Why do you think we sang that song today?”
“That is a great point, it sounds like you are saying…”
“I love that you picked up on that. I noticed that too and it made me think about…”
I look forward to the time when we gather together again in corporate worship. Until then I am lifting you up in my prayers.