Welcome to the Christian Children’s Book Scavenger Hunt! If you are just joining us, please begin at LisaBergren.com to collect the clues in order, so you’ll be in the running to win one of three sets of books and a children’s Kindle Fire! The hunt runs from 9/13 at noon Mountain time until 9/15 at midnight Mountain. This contest is open to international entrants.
I love, love that I get to create books for children. Most of the time, I write sweet rhymes about snuggling and cuddling and going night-night. However, just because my books sound cutesy, it doesn’t mean they were easy to write. (You try finding a rhyming word for “Easter” that isn’t “keister.”)
But, truthfully, writing Daddy Snuggles was a breeze. It so happens I’m married to Daddy Snuggles himself, and his everyday interactions with our kids easily leant themselves to the sweet, silly scenarios I write about in the book.
So about a year ago, when he came home wanting to implement a daily Family Worship time in our home, I was all-in. It seemed like the natural next step in our desire to disciple our kids. This will be easy, we thought. Our kids will love and cherish that time together always, we thought. We’re amazing! we thought.
We were wrong.
Family Worship is hard. Start to finish hard. But we’re a few rounds in, and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. I’d love to share a few ideas here in the hopes that if the Lord leads you to begin a Family Worship time in your home, you can avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made and skip right to the good stuff.
Creating a Family Worship Time in Your Home
Start with Scripture
Our favorite kid’s Bible to read from is The Jesus Storybook Bible. Our first copy fell to absolute pieces, it was loved so much. We’ve also used various devotional books for kids or we’ve simply shared what God was teaching us personally through whatever verse or passage we had been meditating on.
Right now, we’re reading straight through the book of John. We start by asking a few questions about the reading from the night before, and then pick up where we left off. We read a few verses each time.
It’s not easy to find the perfect devotional material when you have a wide age range of kids (ours are ages 10 to two), but I’ve come to love just reading straight from scripture. It’s simple, it’s God’s Word, and it’s able to work in any heart, any age.
My husband is a worship pastor, so this element of family worship is probably easier for us than it might be for some. But worship is about the Lord, not about our musicality. I have precious friends who don’t consider themselves at all to be singers, but lead their children in joyful worship anyway. (And it’s just beautiful!)
We try to start with a Sunday-School type song for the little ones (“Jesus Loves Me,” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”), then finish with a worship song we sing in church or hear on the radio. (“Great I Am” and “Awesome God” are a couple of our favorites.)
Finish with Prayer
On our knees, with faces to floor, we pray together. Dad, one child, Mom.
Buyer Beware: this time, above all else, is when the wiggles come out, especially in the younger kids. Be prepared and decide ahead of time your plan of attack. Either you can overlook it and accept some wiggling as inevitable, put the littlest wigglers to bed before you start, allow them to distract themselves with a small toy… or yell at them.
We’ve done it all the ways and found that only one thing is certain: mom and dad getting mad does not encourage a spirit of worship. Take my word for it.
A Note About Time
Keep it short. We usually spend about 10-15 minutes total on Family Worship.
We’ve tried it all times of day: at breakfast, after dinner, and before bed. For us, after dinner was surprisingly successful. No one’s hungry or thirsty or tired and we’re all already together. It makes the transition to worship easy.
That being said, life is busy, and, more often than not, we end up doing Family Worship right before bed.
A Final Encouragement
Family Worship is meant to be special and meaningful, but it will not be perfect, nor will not be easy to implement. We’re all sinners and when sinners get together, sin happens. We wiggle. We whine. We don’t like this story. We don’t like this song. Be ready to meet that sin with grace.
Remember, Family Worship is not the magic bullet. Doing or not doing a family worship time will not guarantee the success or failure of your child’s faith. It is God who does the work in their hearts.
Above all, our children must see our vibrant, life-giving, fruit-filled, grace-saturated faith playing out all the time, not just at Family Worship time. As parents, we pray, lead as the Lord leads, and trust Him with the results. Our kids are, ultimately and wonderfully, in His hands.
SCAVENGER HUNT CLUE TO WRITE DOWN: Pooh: “You
LINK TO NEXT STOP IN THE HUNT: Head over to Natalee Creech’s site to read her post and collect the next clue in the hunt!
Oh, one last thing!
New subscribers to my (highly infrequent and not at all annoying) updates will be entered to win a signed copy of my bestselling bedtime book God Bless You and Good Night or my newest book Penguin and Moose (releasing on Dec. 3rd.) Sign up now on my homepage. I dare you. (This giveaway available to USA residents only.)