Family Worship

Family worship is the time a family sets aside, on a daily or weekly basis, at home, away from organized religious occasions, for seeking God together. This faith-building time may include such traditional worship elements as prayer, music and Bible study. It may also include such things as devotional reading, drama, games and service projects.

While family worship should be “the most interesting and enjoyable exercise of the home life,” * and “the sweetest and most helpful time of the day," ** most Adventist youth come from homes that do not have family worship with any regularity. Valuegenesis research indicates that a little more than a quarter of our youth never have family worship, and that another 40% have worship only a couple of times a month. Unfortunately, among those who do have family worship, a significant number find the activity to be boring and meaningless.

One of the best things you as a youth leader can do for your youth is to assist their families in establishing meaningful family worship practices. Here are a few clues about where to begin.

Five Principles of successful Family Worship

  1. Establish a regular time. Don’t try to have worship when everyone is hungry. Or when favorite TV programs are starting. Or after the kids have begun working on their homework. Agree on a regular time when all of you can relax for a few moments without feeling the distraction of other pressures. 
  2. Keep it Short. Length of time doesn’t equal better religion. Ten minutes of participation is better than 30 minutes of lecture.
  3. Make it real. Discover significant events in the lives of the kids. Ask questions that easily can be answered from their perspective. Discuss topics that have real impact on their lives.
  4. Vary the content and format.  Don’t do the same thing night after night. Take part in a service project on Sunday. Read a continuing story on Mondays and Tuesdays. Explore the Bible together on Wednesdays. Play a Bible game on Thursdays, etc.
  5. Involve everyone. Don’t lecture. Don’t always be the one to read and pray. Don’t even take all the responsibility for planning. Help everyone discover the joy of participation.

* Ellen White, Child Guidance, 521.
** Ellen White, Messages to Young People, 341.

From: ABZ’s of Adventist Youth Ministry
Permission to copy for use in the local congregation or group.

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