Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family Worship = Family Fun?

Well, why not? In Second Thoughts on Family Worship, Jerry Owen outlines some thoughts on family worship:
  1. Family Worship Isn't Required by the Bible (Owen explains what this means)
  2. Family Worship, If Done, Is Not the Most Important Spiritual Thing You Do (the Church!)
  3. Family Worship Should Be Delightful for Everyone
It is his last point that I found to be most helpful:
My biggest concern for parents [that] are gung-ho on family worship is the tendency for it to be very “serious” and therefore unengaging and often no fun for the kids. This means that the most “spiritual” time the family spends together, supposedly the most important, the time spent talking and learning about God, is in fact the time that is least like experiencing Him
Reread that last line with your Bible open to Psalm 16:11 (okay, just hit the link).
There is a reason kids loved to be around Jesus, and it wasn’t because he was lecturing at length about the Torah or the Five Points of Calvinism. I love the Torah and the Five Points, so I try to make them digestible to my three year old so she can love them too. Good news should feel like it. This might mean singing one verse of a song, or just one song. It means all sorts of things for different situations, for people of different ages, for parents with different abilities. We need to be open to the idea that less is more. Better one verse read, enjoyed and digested, than 30 painful pious lecture minutes.
Read the entire article here. As one who also loves Torah and the doctrines of grace, I am grateful for Owen's liberating counsel. I say it is liberating because my hunch is that many households avoid family worship owing to wrong conceptions of how they assume it must be conducted.

All parents - especially fathers - take encouragement that a time of family sanctity need not be a time of family severity. Family worship should be like the Gospel of Jesus... good news.


  1. I have to agree...Family Worship should be fun. Worship for that matter shouldn't be a horrible thing. That makes a lot of sense. In my early parenting days I would have done better to make it fun for my daughter to sit in church and take notes. Instead I kind of threatened her. However, when she took good notes when she was a forth grader. Whatever age that is, I used to take her to chucky cheese as a reward for taking good notes and not falling asleep in church. In spite of my threatening her or just in spite of my parenting she still became a believer, but if I had it to do over again, we would have had more fun with it.