We’ve all heard of “Game Night” or “Movie Night,” and many of us have probably attended a worship night or event, but have you ever considered having a Family Worship Night? My assistant pastor’s wife shared this idea with me last year, and I was astounded at its brilliance. Her kids were 6,7,8, and 12 at the time. She explained that it didn’t work perfectly, or always orderly, but that they were training their children to worship God--and they were doing it together!
(Sidenote: They began this tradition during a season in which their children struggled with nightmares. The kids were nearly impossible to get settled down because of their fear of what was to come. The nights they would worship as a family, the kids would peacefully fall asleep on the couch, and they carried them to bed. It ended up saving them time!)
It’s probably best blogging practice to wait until you’ve established an idea in your home to introduce it to others, but my kids are 1, 2, and 4… if I waited until they were doing this in a replicable, non-crayon-eating way, I would have withheld it from you for years! I insist I share it now, however limited my insights may be on the matter. Worship is always a good idea. Impromptu or planned. Young or old. Corporate or individual. Our Lord is blessed by our devotion and focus.
At my church, children are with us for the worship portion. I love this. I love it, and yet, it is a challenge. Instead of wholeheartedly diving into the presence of our Savior, we have three little monkeys we are trying to teach to worship. This is a picture someone snapped of me. I think it accurately depicts the tension I’m talking about! It can be distracting, but I love the heart behind it: Kids need an opportunity to worship! Let’s not wait until they are in middle school to give it to them. Whether or not your children worship with you at church, consider devoting time as a family for worship. It may seem messy or chaotic to us, but God’s Word says He loves the sounds that come from his littlest ones. (I included three translations because I think each sheds a different light on the subject.)
(ESV) Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
(NLV) You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
(NIV) Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Next time you hear a crying infant in church, think again about labeling it “a distraction!”
Here is a possible approach to holding family worship nights in your home:
1. Set aside a small section of time for your family. This could really be done in a brief time slot before a movie night. It could be sporadic or it could be a set night every week. It could be something you do on car trips. It can be 10 minutes or 45. Decide what is appropriate for your family.
2. Gather everyone. Set out paper and art supplies, and Bibles.
3. Review the guidelines you’ve set up. Play the music.
5. Have a time to share and process together. Train your children to view life through the lens of Scripture.
Be blessed as you enter God’s presence together!