Ahh, family worship. This photo is beautiful right? Looks perfect. No chaos. Children singing and worshipping the Lord. Parents full of joy. Well, not exactly…not at all, really. In the background, right behind that camera, the one who is taking the photo (me) is annoyed and honestly kinda mad. I take the photo anyways because I know God is doing something sweet, even if they are actually fighting over who gets to touch the guitar. There is immense chaos in my heart. A longing for a different stage and age. A mom full of expectations she didn’t first run by God and isn’t trusting Him with when those fleshly expectations go unmet. Eek. What conviction. Even my spiritual hopes for my kids can end up being covered by my own fleshly and sinful desires. And yet, I love this photo because it reminds me of my own need to repent. I love it because I think Jesus loves it – He loves His covenant children in the age and stage that they are in. And, He also loves their parents, as imperfect as we are, He leads us in repentance and hope as we feebly attempt to lead our kids. Yep – Ryan and I are church planters and pastor/pastor’s wife and even our attempts are feeble!
How to “implement” family bible time, or whatever you want to call it, with your crazy crew of kids can be a daunting challenge that is easily given up on for fear of “doing it wrong”, feeling inadequate, lack of participation from the little people, or likely – simply the pure chaos that can make even the “strongest” parents utter foul words during “bible time”. Amen?
So, as I encourage myself, I encourage you to embrace the chaos – whatever that looks like in your house. When it comes to implementing a family worship time, start with where you are and don’t expect it to look how you think its “supposed” to look. God is way bigger than that! His plans for your kids – His kids – are greater than yours and He will work through that one bible verse, silly song, bible story, and prayers you pray with and over your kids. My encouragement is this: just start somewhere.
Here’s just a few ideas – but I encourage you not to read this as a “to-do” list that conjures up feelings guilt, but read it as an encouragement to be simple and start “small” because God does a lot with small things…remember the little boy’s meager lunch that fed at least 5,000 in Matthew 14, Mark 6, and Luke 9? Bring Him what you have and watch what He does with it!
~Grab a great children’s bible (Jesus Storybook Bible is one of my favorites!) and start reading together
~say the Westminster Shorter Catechism for young children questions and answers around the dinner table, or the New City Catechism (there’s an app!) to teach them foundations of God, sin, and redemption
~re-read the story together your kids learned at church
~work on memorizing a hymn together (there is SO much great depth in hymns that have stood the test of time),
~make a family prayer journal where you watch how God answers prayers you pray together
~pick a bible verse to memorize together
This list isn’t exhaustive and you probably have way more creative ideas than this. I’m a pretty simple momma though, so we keep it real, simple, and to the point – hopefully pointing them to Jesus over and over again.
Whatever you do, keep at it. Know that the Lord is doing something, however imperfect or messy it feels. He’s working in you and in them in far greater ways than you can imagine! Embrace the chaos. Embrace the mystery. But most of all, embrace Jesus together.
Here’s just a few good recommendations if you’re looking: Jesus Storybook Bible, The Action Bible, The Following Jesus Bible ( for kids a little older), The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook or The Big Picture Story Bible (for younger ones). Or, for books to go alongside your bible reading The Ology is GREAT and Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing is beautiful as well!