It could be that many of us will find ourselves having to worship at home instead of attending public worship services for a while. This may have an awkward feel to it at the beginning. But if you do a little preparation and take it seriously, you and your family may very well experience a refreshing, revival-like visitation from God that could lead to a spiritually stronger home and even a stronger local church body – strong families make strong churches.
Preparation is Important
A favorite coach of mine was known for saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Let’s face it, if an organized and deliberate plan is not put in place, your worship experience may turn into a disaster before it gets off the ground. Proper preparation is vital. Believe or not, children crave structure. The following are some suggestions to help you have a successful family worship experience.
1. Prepare your attitude
Solomon wrote, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God” (Eccl. 5:1). The phrase guard your steps means to proceed with reverence, tip toeing into the presence of We come with care and caution. We come with dignity and respect. We approach God with the same care as Moses when he encountered God in a burning bush and took off his shoes. He was on holy ground, and he knew it. If you have a family, don’t expect everyone to take this posture your first worship experience at home. But as the leader and planner, ask God to make the holy ground expectation a reality in time. He will honor your prayer because you and your family have honored Him in worship.
2. Preparation begins on Saturday night by everyone getting to bed at a decent hour.
Try to guard your family from filling their spirits and their bodies with junk late Saturday evening. Encourage everyone to set their affections on Christ before you go to bed. Believe God to guide and give instruction in the night as you sleep (Psalm 16:7).
3. Preparation comes by waking up on time.
You may need to set an alarm clock, just like you would to ensure an on-time arrival for work or school. Do not wait until the last possible minute and scramble around the house, yelling at the children and panicking. Have a good breakfast and be alert before beginning your worship time.
4. Preparation by preparing a spiritual atmosphere.
Play songs of worship or devotion to direct your minds toward God. Prayer and Bible reading are other ways to help. Allow ten to fifteen minutes before your worship begins encouraging your family to listen or read scripture. This will make your hearts soft when you worship. Come hungry. Come willing. Come expecting God to speak. Come anticipating a memorable experience with the Creator of the universe.
5. Preparation comes by having your Bibles, worship songs selected, communion items, and other needed items ready to go
If you wait to look for your Bible after you get started, it usually leads to frustration and family tension. As you would not leave your schoolbooks or briefcase at home during the week, come to family worship prepared.
6. Prepare an Order for Your Worship Time
Here are some suggestions:
1. Ask a family member ahead of time that feels comfortable to do an opening prayer.
2. Next, you can worship together with your local church live stream, or conduct your own worship by someone leading choruses or worshipping to your favorite family playlist of worship songs (if you don’t have a family play list, create one as a family or assign one of the children to do it – it could be lot of fun for them).
3. Have an offering time where you pray over your tithe and offerings as a family and then give online or prepare to send it in the mail on Monday. Maybe take some time as a family discussing what ministry to give your offerings to and the amount. This can be a great teaching opportunity explaining what a tithe is and what offerings consist of.
4. Your time in the word of God may require some preplanning. Some suggestions might include the following:
7. Prepare to Respond
When God reveals Himself to us, things happen. Be open to experiencing God as He leads us to respond (Isaiah 6:8). Our hearts are moved to worship because we have seen the beauty, greatness, holiness, mercy, and love of our God. We sing to him, confess our sins, receive His word preached, take communion, and give our finances, all in grateful response to seeing who God is and what He has done for us in Jesus.
8. Prepare to Edify Others
Our worship doesn’t stop with the final prayer and “Amen.” It continues as we greet, encourage, serve, pray for, exhort, and care for one another as a family. Expect to see God do great things in your family as you prepare to worship together at home. Not only will your family be blessed, strengthened, and draw nearer to God, your local church as well as the entire body of Christ will be edified, and Jesus Christ glorified.
A Final Word of Encouragement
Don’t be discouraged if everything doesn’t go as planned. Neither be surprised if certain family members resist or act like they’re not too excited about the family worship idea. Let me give you some insight from someone who knows, the enemy will fight you hard attempting to convince you that your efforts are useless. But remember this, it’s not about their reception or response. The only question you must ask yourself as far God is concerned is, “Was the word of God spoken?” If so, you know that the faith of your family members was enlarged and increased because “faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17). You also know that, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10,11)