Family Worship Part 1

For the month of January, I thought it would be really fun to explore the idea of family worship. I’ve asked my husband, Mark, who has recently taken a number of seminary classes on family worship to come and explain some of the basics for us. I hope this series of post gives you fresh ideas as well as encouragement in your praise to God as a family.

What is Family Worship?

By Mark Baker

I have recently been learning about a spiritual discipline that is of the utmost importance for the church. It was a discipline so valuable that our fathers in the faith who penned the Westminster Confession authorized church discipline on anyone who refused to participate in it. It was of this discipline that Matthew Henry, the famous Puritan commentator said, “Here the reformation must begin.” It is the discipline of family worship.

Family worship is the act of assembling the family unit together for the purpose of intentionally giving praise and glory to God. Deuteronomy 6:7 commands fathers to teach the commandments of God “diligently to your children, and… talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” While family worship will not be the only time the ways of God are taught in the home, it should be the foundation from which all other instruction can be given.

The Puritans even described the routine of family worship as similar to “Jacob’s Ladder” in Genesis 28. Jacob had an encounter with God where he saw angels ascending and descending to and from heaven. After the encounter, Jacob exclaimed, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it… How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:16-17). What did the Puritans see in family worship that could cause them to equate it with the very gateway between heaven and earth? This series of blog posts will explore the “what” and “how” of family worship, that our families might be able to see and savor the goodness of God in the place of the home.