Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family Worship/Devotions

For years, Mary and I have struggled (struggled may be too harsh of a word here) with how to lead our family in worship. At home. Together. The eight of us.

Some families have designated time together, perhaps at the breakfast table, dinner table, in the late evening when all are in the house. I don't believe the time nor the setting is important, as much as just doing it is.

I think some families really try to utilize Sunday morning as a time for this as well. Sometimes that just doesn't work. It's hard enough trying to get everyone's hair combed, braided, brushed; teeth brushed; matching socks; cereal inhaled; coffee drunk--who has time for family devotions/worship on a Sunday morning.

Again the goal is to not be ridged, but to really enjoy your family as you talk about God. Seek His presence. Magnify His name. Pray.

With that in mind, I would like to make a few suggestions that may help you get a start on the right foot.
  1. Start with the Bible. It's the one primary source for family worship/devotions. You may use other resources, but let me tell you, all other items must point you and your family back to the Bible. We are supposed to be people of the Word and without the Word in our lives on a regular basis, we will find ourselves empty.
  2. Some recent books have been written that deal with family worship/devotions. I have utilized some of these and would highly recommend them to you. First one is Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, by Starr Meade. Mary and I have used this book for a number of years. It was well written and good for families with smaller children. A few other books on raising Godly children are: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, Stand Fast by Doug Bond, Standing on the Promises and Future Men both by Doug Wilson.
  3. One of the hardest to find is music. We all like different styles, tempos, arrangements. So rather than saying what I use, I will just list some web sites that would be great resources for family worship. In fact some of these I even use in my private worship times. In no particular order -- Sovereign Grace Music - great contemporary music with a heart for the exalted Christ at it's core. Indelible Grace - hymns with the melody rewritten in more of a singer/songwriter style. Birthed out of the RUF ministry these songs have been making great strides on university campus' world wide. Red Mountain Music - worship music featured from Red Mountain Church in Birmingham Alabama. PAGE CXVI - ancient words with modern music, all of them being hymns. Seeds Family Worship - these guys have been putting music to Scripture for a few years now Sojourn Music - This is one resource that I have just discovered and have thoroughly enjoyed. Even my kids have loved it. Basic concept of Sojourn Music is that they take various lyrics from hymns and utilizing their themes rewriting the music. Great stuff as I have posted before.
In closing, I would like to bring a reminder from Proverbs 22:6 --
up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."