Many churches are not able to meet in large groups (Children’s Ministries, Sunday School, Worship) for the foreseeable future. How can we continue to shepherd our children towards Jesus without the weekly, physical presence of body of Christ in our lives?
I want to encourage you to implement a timeless, simple practice into the rhythm of your days in quarantine: family worship.
This does not have to be a complicated curriculum or program – simply gather your family, sing a few songs, read scripture, and pray together. My hope is that this daily practice continues for you and yours well after life goes back to normal! Why family worship?
- In the same way many of you are going to great lengths to provide food for your family during this time, our spouses and children need to be nourished by God’s Word.
- Singing and reading Scripture together daily will not only serve as an anchor to your children’s souls as you worship God, but will be a profound bonding experience and give them a daily venue to express worries, ask questions, and receive your undivided attention.
- It will orient your family towards the God and give Him glory, honor, and praise. There is no better posture for our hearts right now than expectantly waiting, thankful for the little things and the big things we have been given, and pleading for grace.
- Any Bible you have at home: While I love them, you don’t have to start with a Story Bible/Children’s book. Open up to the Psalms or the Gospel of Luke and just start reading. You don’t have to read much, and don’t be afraid to stop and explain words/ideas as you go along.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones is my all-time favorite. It is a richly illustrated, beautifully retold, biblically accurate series of stories from Scripture that are unified around one theme: every story whispers the name of Jesus.
- Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, also by Sally Lloyd-Jones, is another favorite around our house. This book is full of one-page reflections on a single verse or idea from Scripture. It works great for our two youngest (2yrs and 4yrs) around bedtime when attention spans are short.
Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs together with your family even if we can’t sing together on Sundays! Even if you don’t have any musical family members, you can make a joyful noise to the Lord. Follow Redeemer’s Worship Services and Spotify Playlists each week to sing along, or pull up your favorite songs at home.
Children’s Music is a touchy subject for me. I find it difficult to find music for kids that has 1) good, true and beautiful words, 2) Singable/Accessible melodies (that children can sing without hours of practice), and 3) Great music (very subjective, I know).
One of our favorites at Redeemer Kids is Ellie Holcomb. Her children’s music is excellent, and her solo albums (As Sure as the Sun/Red Sea Road) are great for singing with children as well (“Marvelous Light” is one of our favorite Upside Down songs, and “Living Water” was our VBS theme song a few years ago!) Check out her children’s albums:
- Sing: Remembering Songs
- Sing: Creation Songs
- Rain for Roots (collaboration with Ellie Holcomb and others)
Other great children’s music options:
- Slugs and Bugs by Randall Goodgame
- Jesus Kids by Shai Linne (don’t know how I missed this is 2018! My kids are playing it non-stop)
A catechism is a simple, question and answer format of learning the scope of what the Bible teaches. Like any tool, it has its limitations, but it has been invaluable in the history of the church is teaching children and young believers the “ABCs” of the faith.
- Here is the version of the catechism that Redeemer Kids learn at Upside Down: Catechism bookmarks
- Catechism set to music
- New City Catechism: helpful app, kids version, updated language
- Long Story Short (Old Testament) by Marty Machowski
- Old Story New (New Testament) by Marty Machowski
- Dinner Table Devotionals by Nancy Guthrie
- CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) has an entire page dedicated to at home resources for families.
What are your favorite resources for worshipping together as a family? Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will update this post with your suggestions!