Thursday, October 8, 2009

Family Worship and A Church in the House Giveaway

We haven't always done family worship in our home, but we're learning that these can be some of the most precious times with our children. We have several devotional aids that we use some evenings. Other times, like tonight, one of the kids reads from the Bible or a Bible storybook. It's also a wonderful opportunity for the kids to share with Daddy the Bible passages they've been memorizing, which is so much more meaningful than my just telling him. They all pretty much memorize the same verses since they use the same plan (Truth and Grace Memory Books edited by Thomas K. Ascol), but it's interesting that they want to share different ones. Tonight Twinkle Toes recited Psalm 23, Measle said Psalm 8 by herself for the first time, Mr. Monk quoted Ephesians 4:25-32 and American Boy said Genesis 1:1 (might as well start at the beginning, right?).

I have to confess that we normally wait to have worship after we put Baby Lu in bed, but she was unhappy in her crib this evening, so I got her out and let her join us. I'm so glad I did. Big D built a fire tonight, at the request of the kids, and Baby Lu was good as gold on my lap while Twinkle Toes read from the book of Joshua. I think everyone enjoyed it even more than usual with her there. She was not a distraction at all.

Big D and I grew up in church, but the concept of daily family worship is new to us. Mathew Henry preached and wrote about the importance of family worship over 300 years ago!! There truly is nothing new under the sun! Scott Brown has edited this little book by Mathew Henry called A Church in the House, to make it easily readable. It's very compelling and practical, too. I have two copies that I want to give to readers of my blog who are interested in family worship. I'll draw the winners late Saturday night since we're leaving town Monday morning.

To enter the giveaway simply comment on this post about what you do in your time of family worship. You can give the format you follow or devotional aids that you've found helpful. If you've been thinking about starting family worship in your home and haven't yet or if you haven't really given it that much thought until now, comment about why you'd be interested in this book or what's been holding you back. Maybe you're like us and just didn't think about it until you heard how wonderful it is from someone who's already doing it.

Here's what we've been doing in our family worship times:

Big D or Twinkle Toes (she always wants to read!) reads a passage from the Bible or Bible storybook followed by Big D asking some questions to make sure the kids understood what we read. Or I read a chapter from Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children by Mildred A. Martin, followed again by a Q&A time to insure the kids got the message.

Next we sing some hymns. Big D loves picking hymns and teaching them to the kids. Two or three hymns later Big D prays for our family.

Then we either drill the kids on catechism or verses from their TAG books, or we allow them to choose a longer Bible passage they've been working on that they'd like to share with the family.

This only takes us 20-30 minutes and also is a nice way to send the kids off to bed, instead of going bed to bed for individual tucks and prayers. We've absolutely loved family woship, especially the kids. I'm so grateful that the Lord brought books into our lives like The Duggars Twenty and Counting and A Church in the House to encourage us to take the plunge. I know you won't regret it if you do!


  1. This book is so needed in our home. In the last year we have turned our lives over to God and every day we realize there is so much we need to put into action in our lives. While we enjoy scriptures together as a family, we have not yet started daily devotions and worship. I pray daily for the strength to lift my family in prayer...we could really use this resource!

  2. OH how cool to share with us. I can almost picture you all by the fire. Love those nights, don't you?
    We just recently started doing family worship (the last 3 months). We started with just sitting together in the family room while daddy read a little of the bible (Although daddy works sometimes at night, so then its just me and the kids). Then we started talking about the Lord and what He had taught us that day, then would read a story (that had a biblical message), then the bible, then the kids favorite part, we sing a Christmas hymn. We are trying to memorize the whole hymn of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" by Christmas so we can sing it all together Christmas morning. We almost have it memorized so we will start on "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel". Our devotions don't stick to a clear outline all of the time, probably because we are so new at this, but we love having time as a family that is centered on what we are learning about our Lord. I wish we would have started earlier.

  3. Jennifer, it sounds like you've got all the right ingredients, just haven't made it official, yet. That was hard for us- setting aside a consistent time. We can't do it every night, which we'd like to change, but just don't see a way for Tues and Wed nights due to church conflicts which we are committed to.

    Valerie, I think memorizing Christmas carols sounds wonderful! My husband's schedule has also made it hard for us, but he is making sure to stay home long enough to do family worship now even if he has to go back to work afterwards. (He is a pastor and has a very flexible schedule, but has a hard time getting his studying done in the daytime so studies a lot in the evenings.)

    I'm so glad you two are interested in this book first written over 300 years ago. We are kindred spirits:)

  4. Our family does not do family worship together. It is something I have been wanting to do since we were married. Everyone's schedule seems so packed that we don't tend to think about an actual time we can get together for this. With our blended family, it sure would be helpful to strengthen our relationships if we could share time together with a common focus in worship. Getting some ideas on how to start this and make it a consistent and necessary part of our week would be so helpful. Thank you for the idea of something to do for our family!

    -Pam S.

  5. We have had a hard time finding a family worship routine and sticking to it. We do scripture memorization and Bible reading during our school day, but nothing with Daddy when he is home. I'd love to read this book with my husband and perhaps come up with something that works and we can stick to!

  6. I hope I'm not to late for the giveaway~

    I would love to win~


  7. Our family is not consitant with our family worship~we don't have a routine! I do a bible time with my homeschooled 2nd grader and preschooler during the morning and afternoons daily. We have a faith formation at church on Mondays for the whole family and the older ones have youth on Sunday afternoons!
    We say a few quick prayers with the kiddos as we tuck them in....nothing major!
    I would love to do some songs and stuff?!


  8. Thank you so much for sharing what you do in your home to worship together as a family. You guys have me wishing I had more copies of this book to give!

    Congrats to Erin and Pam! Please email me your addresses and I'll get these little books out to you as soon as I get back in town. Probably a week from Monday.

  9. It must be getting late! My email is



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.