Practical Ways to Sustain Family Worship

3 Simple Helps

I've noticed when I talk about family worship that people say, I've tried it. It doesn't work. Or, I've tried, but I can't keep it going. They are discouraged from even trying again, especially if they've tried a few times. But, there are ways to make family worship sustainable.

The first way is to remember the why. What is your stimulus for doing this? What's your motive in doing this? If it's just because everyone else is doing it or because you think it's a duty or a law, that's not sustainable. That's not a fuel that will keep you going. So you've got to get down to the roots of gospel motivation to believe that this is God's gospel, these are the words of eternal life, this is the way God brings Jesus to us, this is the way God grows us spiritually, and this is the way God communicates with us.

Exploring the Bible Together

David Murray

This resource will help families establish and practice regular family devotions because it is realistic in its aims, it has a clear plan and direction, and it stimulates interaction with Scripture and prayer.

If you start thinking about these deeper motives and stimuli, that's fuel that lasts, that's gospel gas, as it were. You want to start with the stimulus, but then also you want to keep it small, short, and simple so that it's doable. Sometimes you can get a real sense of the why and then you just try to do too much, especially to begin with. So, keep it simple, keep it short, keep it doable.

The third thing I would say is to stack family worship on top of another habit. If you think of habit science, one of the things they often talk about is that if you want to add a new habit, you must build on an old habit. So, for example, if you want to start flossing your teeth, then do it when you're brushing your teeth. So you've got an existing habit that will trigger a new habit, rather than trying to add something arbitrarily.

This is the way God brings Jesus to us, this is the way God grows us spiritually, and this is the way God communicates with us.

For most people, family worship is stacked on top of the existing habit of eating. When the family is together at times in the day for breakfast or supper, maybe have the Bible on the table as well so that you remember. Then, it just becomes part of the ordinary routine when you have supper or breakfast. It triggers the thought, Oh, this is when we worship. Putting these things together—the stimulus, the simplicity, the stacking—will help towards sustainable family worship.

David Murray is the author of Exploring the Bible Together: A 52-Week Family Worship Plan.

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