It’s been said before that the home of every Christian family is like a little church, and every father is the pastor of the little flock in his home. With that in mind, below are some brief thoughts on establishing a rhythm of worship as families in what our kids call “home church.”
KNOWING GOD THROUGH HIS STORY
Learning about God’s character is a lifelong pursuit. Everyone, of all ages, whether three, thirty-three, or ninety-three, can meditate and discuss our Father’s character and attributes as they come to us in Scripture. Take a passage, a narrative/story in particular, and consider general questions such as:
- What does this Bible story reveal about who God is? (His character)
- What actions in the story do we see by God’s people? Are these actions godly or selfish? (Godly traits are those such as generosity, courage, wisdom, faithfulness, and humility, while selfish traits usually center around pride, greed, and are played out in the ways of foolishness.)
- In light of who God is, and what He has done for us, as seen in this story, what godly response does He want from us today? (Think about what your kids, and you, are facing in daily life, and connect the dots.)
These questions, and others like them, are the building blocks of all meaningful Bible study. Revise the wording if needed for your kids. Resist the urge to supply all the correct answers from the outset, and invite everyone to the joy of discovering who God is, what He has done for us, and how He desires for us to respond to His grace.
TAKING HIS WORDS TO HEART: Scripture Memorization
Within the Scripture story there usually is a verse that leaps off the page. Think of a way to summarize it in a rhythmic way. Examples:
- “Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid.” —Deuteronomy 31:6
- Or, “Be strong and brave, be sure to obey. Don’t turn to the left, don’t turn to the right, that you may have success.” —Joshua 1:7
(Click reference links above and see what the “adult” wording would be, and note how they’ve been shortened or revised for kids’ minds and hearts.)
An idea: use hand motions, or make the verse sound like a song. Some fun and easy kid’s verses to memorize are Kari’s Letter Lessons.
After reading Scripture and pulling out the key concepts and lessons, turn this into a prayer to God. None of us can change on our own, and it’s great to model for our kids that we need God’s Spirit and power to change us from the inside out. You might say, “Let’s pray: ‘Dada God, please help me to be brave and obey Mommy when it’s time for bed.’” Just something simple. You’re probably already doing these things, but try to link the prayer to something you’ve read in scripture.
This models for our kids how to intake and apply scripture right away. Ask your kids what they feel scared about, nervous, happy. Spend time talking to God about whatever they are feeling. Encourage them often whenever they take steps in prayer!
LIVE IT OUT
Finally, take some action step as a result of your time in the Word and prayer. Be “doers” of the Word right away. Give your kids some “practice” being brave, or obeying right away, or act out what they might do if they are in a difficult situation. Just think of something fun you can DO right away to practice whatever you just learned.
Finish your time with a special treat, or snuggle and wrestling time, or whatever your kids love most. Be all there. Connect family JOY and family fun with family worship.
- For more on good resources, such as choosing a family Bible and more, see Renewal: leading our families in the Gospel.