Who do you worship with on Sunday morning?
Your answer to that question might be a variety of options. You worship with your church family. Your pastoral staff. The choir or praise team. Certainly you probably worship alone, just you and God.
But did you actually worship with your family last Sunday morning? Depending on your church’s schedule and the amount of services you have, your wife and children may have been in Sunday school, at home, or in a different section of the sanctuary. It’s unlikely that during the worship service you were lifting hands together, singing praises to God close enough to hear each other’s voices, and wrapping arms around one another. Every other family in your church gets to have those moments, but not yours.
You have two choices in the matter: you can say that’s just the way it is for pastors’ families and adjust to not having those cherished times together as a family, or you can be intentional about finding other ways to worship with your family throughout the week. (There are, after all, 167 hours in the week outside of the 1-hour worship service. What’s your excuse for those hours?)
First of all, remember that worship does not have to include hymns or Hillsong, and it does not need to be in a sanctuary of some kind or with a large body of believers. Worship is simply an act of expressing reverence to God. So there are almost unlimited ways in which you can experience worship with your family during the week. Here are a small handful:
- At dinnertime, have everyone at the table share a way in which they saw God move that day. Even those who may have a difficult time finding something to share about each night can certainly find reverence for God in learning about how others saw him that day.
- Family devotions are another great way to incorporate discussion about God within the family. Your family knows you study the Bible quite a bit and that you share what God is teaching you with your church family. But do you share things with just them, in a more intimate setting? They are not simply members of your church family; they are your family. They need you investing in them and desiring to worship with them at home.
- Do you pray together as a family outside of saying the blessing before meals or in desperate times of need? Make a point to have regular times of prayer together, bringing one another’s requests to God together as a family. Your son needs to hear his dad praying for his baseball tryouts. Your wife needs to hear you praying aloud for her friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. And everyone in your family wants to know the things on your heart that you are lifting up to God. Pray together, for one another.
- Look for the impromptu times of worship that are not regularly scheduled. What biblical messages or analogies did you notice during your last family movie night? Share it right then and there. What act of love did you notice in the restaurant that is a great example of someone loving another like Jesus loves them? Jump on that opportunity to share with your family.
The key with all of this is to be intentional. You clearly are intentional about writing your sermon for the worship service. You certainly expect your worship leader to be intentional about planning out and practicing the music for the service. In the same way, you must be intentional about planning out how you will also worship with your family throughout the week.
Kevin Harvey is the author of two books, his most recent being All You Need to Know about the Bible in Pop Culture. He also writes at BibleInPopCulture.com and can be found on Twitter under the handle @PopCultureKevin.