Family worship. Those two words strike fear and guilt into the heart of any Christian parent. You know you should be studying the Bible together as a family but the how is so challenging and the options so many. And no, I'm not going to offer you a new method for family devotionals. There are many already out there and, to tell you the truth, you really just need to figure out what suits your family, be flexible, and trust God for the result.
What I am going to encourage you with is that if your family attends worship together at Christ Covenant you are studying the Bible together even if you didn't know it. So for example, as a family:
- You're studying James slowly. Our current sermon series is on the book of James. That means your deep dive into a particular book of Scripture right now is James. And all of you are studying it together.
- You're studying Mark quickly. We also read through other passages of Scripture quickly during the Scripture reading part of our liturgy. So your family is also being exposed to the doing and dying of Jesus as it's recorded in Mark's gospel.
- You're studying the Bible systematically. As we work our way through the New City Catechism each week you're also studying Scripture systematically as we examine a new theme each week.
- You're studying the Bible musically. The songs we sing are all Scripture prefaced and Scripture based. Your family is singing the Bible.
- You're studying the Bible prayerfully. Each week we pray the Bible in our pastoral prayer and conclude praying the Lord's Prayer.
Are you encouraged yet? Simply attending worship together as a family means that you are engaging Scripture at different depths, in different settings, and through different components of worship. If you are a regular attender then you have a ready answer to the question, "What is your family studying together?"
Now let me conclude with two warnings.
- Look for your family to grow in a practical faith and not a preponderance of facts. Outside of Sunday you're not looking to pop-quiz one another on the third point in the sermon. A family grows in their study of the Bible as they seek to put it into practice alongside one another. Your family is a little little laboratory, a training camp for practicing biblical love and Christ-like living, to apply grace, and grow in godliness.
- Intentionality will win, every time. It isn't enough to simply commit to 90 minutes of being present in corporate worship on Sunday and expect the rest to work itself out. You have to be intentional with one another during the week. Look for ways that the content of worship connects with everyday life and then bring it up in family conversation. Encourage your kids that what goes on Sunday is immensely practical for their regular life Monday through Saturday.