What do you do for Family Worship?

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Susan

Inactive User
When the boys were still at home, my husband read to us from Martyn Lloyd-Jones daily readings. Later, he used to read to us from Tabletalk Magazine. It was when we were just learning about reformed theology. When our son's friend Oscar would call during the reading time of Tabletalk, one of the boys would answer the phone and say "Tabletalk!" and he knew that meant he was to call back later.
We also went through Ryle's Holiness, one chapter at a time, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones' Sermon on the Mount. Our boys thought some of those chapters were far too long though! Other things we did were the RC Sproul videos Choosing My Religion (great for teenagers!), Ultimate Issues also very appealing for teenagers, and The Holiness of God.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I have a 2 year old and 4 month old so for now we sing a few psalms and/or kid songs, read a passage from John, and do a short prayer.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
We change it up a bit.

Monday - Prayer night. We have a prayer journal and take turns writing in it and praying.
Tuesday - Biography night.
Wed - Church
Thurs - Proverbs right now. We read a chapter and discuss it. Sometimes two chapters.
Friday nights we just hang out and watcha movie or something. I try to get a good documentary or movie with an historical emphasis that will educate us. Sometimes we discuss it afterwards.
Sat. - We try to catch up in case we missed something. It's generally a free for all.
Sunday afternoon we discuss the morning's sermon. Once in a while I get carried away and just keep on preaching....:wink:
 

brymaes

Puritan Board Sophomore
What would you gentlemen suggest for Family Worship involving a young married couple without children?
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I'm a young married couple. Actually, my wife and I are the young married couple, but you get my meaning. I usually use a book. For instacne, we worked through the Works of Christopher Love for one deovtions. That took about a year. Then, we worked through Solitude Improved By Divine Mediatiation. That took a bout a year as well. We are currently working on "The Confession" by Hodge. I summarize each chapter and use it as a guideline. We pray, and lift up requests. I susally do this at dinner time with her since that is when we are both at optimum levels. Morning would not be good for me, and evenings are not good for her.

Sometimes I will switch it up and we will simply read through a chapter of the Bible and discuss it, but she likes structure, so the book as an outline works quite well.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[b:005cbfa3ec]Wannabee wrote:[/b:005cbfa3ec]
Monday - Prayer night. We have a prayer journal and take turns writing in it and praying.

What you wrote reminds me how well it works, in our house anyway, to get the kids involved in what's going on. In the past, we would have a family devotional or we'd read from the scriptures. Basically, I'd do all the talking and they'd (in theory) do all the listening. It was often a struggle to get them to be attentive, to stop picking on each other, keep their hands to themselves, etc.

For the last month or so, we've started reading through Psalms, one Psalm per night. We go around the room and each person reads two verses. What a difference! They're so focused on listening so they can be ready for their turn that there's no more struggles and its much more enjoyable for everybody.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:effee1e779][i:effee1e779]Originally posted by blhowes[/i:effee1e779]
[b:effee1e779]Wannabee wrote:[/b:effee1e779]
Monday - Prayer night. We have a prayer journal and take turns writing in it and praying.

What you wrote reminds me how well it works, in our house anyway, to get the kids involved in what's going on. In the past, we would have a family devotional or we'd read from the scriptures. Basically, I'd do all the talking and they'd (in theory) do all the listening. It was often a struggle to get them to be attentive, to stop picking on each other, keep their hands to themselves, etc.

For the last month or so, we've started reading through Psalms, one Psalm per night. We go around the room and each person reads two verses. What a difference! They're so focused on listening so they can be ready for their turn that there's no more struggles and its much more enjoyable for everybody. [/quote:effee1e779]

Hey, that's a good idea. I'll have to remember that when my kids get old enough. I hope to also use the Shorter Catechism too.
 

terry72

Puritan Board Freshman
Some good friends of mine I chat with online gave me a psalter, they are dutch reformed tradition. It has the Belgic Confession, the Heidleburg Catechism, and the Cannons of Dort.
I use this for family devotion. We usally read one of the psalters, then I read one of the questions and answers from the heidleburg, we then end with prayer. I encourg the children to pray themsleves, for what ever need they think is important at the time, things like for each other or people at church or other kids they know. I also teach them the great privilege it is to hear the gospel, so they pray for other children that don't have christian parents. I then offer a prayer myself. We then end with one of the doxologies.

I also from time to time have them repeat the creeds after me, such as the Apostles creed and the Nicene.

I intend to soon start adding biographies and other writings, such as Pilgrims Progress.

Blessings,
Terry :)
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
We do this:

[1] Invocation

[2] Read from Catherine Vos' Children's Story Bible:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/
0802850111/qid=1074873964/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-5128041-5814565?v=
glance&s=books

This is a fantasic story Bible and has alot of Reformed endorsements. We have a teen, a 2 year old and a 5 year old. The teen and the 5 year old get a lot out of this. When everyone is older, we will move out of a story Bible.

[3] We ask questions and discuss what was read.

[4] We pray

[5] We sing songs that our church sang the Sunday before and sometimes a psalm. The purpose is twofold: (1) to praise God in song and [2] to have the children learn the songs our church uses so they can participate in corporate worship.

It is fairly simple and takes only 15-20 minutes. We do this every night after dinner.

Scott

[Edited on 10/21/2004 by fredtgreco]
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
"What would you gentlemen suggest for Family Worship involving a young married couple without children?"

Probably the best instructions are by the Westminster divines, in the Directory of Family Worship:

http://www.epcew.org.uk/dfw/

Scott
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
This is our family practice:

Sing a Psalm
Short Prayer
Read Scripture Passage
Discuss the Passage
Prayer Requests
Longer Prayer

Because we have two toddlers, our family worship routine is also their bedtime routine.

As they get older, we may incorporate the Shorter Catechism into the routine as well.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
What I do, though not always, but mostly, is read up on the Scriptures the evening before, as well as historical settings, etc., and we go through the gospels and epistles, though in no particular order. Usually it's an epistle after we've finished a gospel. That's in the evenings, to close off supper hour. In the mornings it's always from the Psalms or Proverbs. Especially at night I give a short explanation of the reading, highlighting the main points, and sometimes applying directly to particular experiences we are going through, either individually or as a family group. This always includes the main call of the gospel to believe in the saving work of Christ.

Sometimes I just let it sink in without explanantion. But the single most important thing about any Bible reading is to read it well. That means familiarity with the text. It is the Word, and not my explanations, that has the power. That is why reading it as the Word is important to me. So, often I read, then explain, and then read some of what I had already read again.

Afterwards I always lead in prayer. But there is sometimes a discussion of sorts between. The kids like to ask questions, and I like to encourage that. And sometimes it continues after family prayer. Family Prayer is the family equivalent of congregational prayer in the church, I guess. Because it always includes the whole family, whether there or not, as well as extended family needs, and prayer for the church and it's officers and gospel work, as well as prayer suggestions. I sometimes include in the prayer a thankgiving for the food as a kind of celebration of God's goodness to us, something like a Thanksgiving Prayer, just to remind us all that thanking God for the food and His blessing upon it is more than just saying "thank you".

If there are guests, they are included in the prayers.

Now this is something that has developed over the years, as the kids grew and their interests and independence grew. I have found that the younger ones are not left behind when discussion is at the level of the older ones. But it has been my objective to keep to the theology with as simple a terms as I know of, even if it is a little difficult to understand. I find that works the best. My youngest is 9 1/2 yrs., and they range up from there into adulthood, when the older ones are home (and there seems to be always one of them home. )

That took longer to explain than to do. It usually takes about fifteen minutes. But it has gone on for about an hour on occasions, because of a particular problem, either at school or in the neighbourhood. The discussion is what makes it take longer sometimes.

The summertime is not as structured, but we still have at least one family meal in which we do these devotions.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
We've changed our routine a little since my last post. We now pray, read a portion of Scripture, sing some psalms, sing a couple kids songs, work on memorizing the Shorter Catechism, then pray again.

It's amazing how quickly my son is picking up the catechism. He's up to question 9, though he still has to work on his pronounciation,and he's almost 3 years old. Usually, my wife and I read through it out loud, and eventually he is able to do it too, and .. .WHOLLAH! It's memorized. Then we just keep reviewing it with him so it sticks.
 

dado6

Puritan Board Freshman
We go over a Shorter Catechism question more or less every week. We have a nightly prayer time before dinner and before bed after the bed time story. After the bed time prayer time we review the Catechism question of the week as well as previous ones.

My older two girls are great with the Catechism. In fact, question one is usually the follow up to "do you believe in God/go to Church, etc." whenever they meet some one new. We went on a cross country camping trip last summer and while at a camp ground in Washington, we had a PCUSA minister come over and congratulate us on catechizing our little ones. Turned out the girls threw out question one while talking to the pastor's daughters and he overheard. Another time I had to clarify that we were protestant to some camp neighbors in Oregon. The girls were talking about the Catechism with some of the kids and word got back to the parents. In talking with one of the dads, he kept asking about how I viewed Mary. After a few questions in this direction I asked him why he seemed to think I was Catholic and he said it was because my daughters talked about catechisms the day before! We had some great late night, campfire Tabletalk after that! Who knows, my kids may have planted the seeds of reformation in a Roseburg Four-Square church.

The Catechism is a wonderful tool!

Thanks,
Rob
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
[quote:5b9181f804="puritansailor"]I have a 2 year old and 4 month old so for now we sing a few psalms and/or kid songs, read a passage from John, and do a short prayer.[/quote:5b9181f804]

I see that you have posted an update on this, but it is similar to what we've been doing with our kids (3 and 1)... prayers of praise and thanksgiving, reading & discussion from the Gospel of John (for now) singing of a psalm, a hymn and perhaps a kiddie-song, and prayers of intercession & supplication. We're also doing, during the day usually, work on the child's catechism (the one Chris Schlect has edited) which Abby does with some ease - perhaps we should just ditch it & go with the Shorter ;)

Yours in Christ,

Todd
 

smellingsalts

Inactive User
Me and my wife have a 10 month old girl. We go to church saturday evening and have our home group that follows the service. Sunday morning we have our family devotions consisting of prayer and reading through Proverbs and reading a devotional book or a book on marriage. During the week, we talk about God and Christian issues and pray whenever.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
If you are attempting to do family worship (and you should), you need to get a copy of this book:

Family Worship by Terry Johnson


I have provided the link to Trinity Book Service, which is discontinuing operations and has a GREAT price on the book!

[Edited on 11/2/2004 by fredtgreco]
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
Right now, we read a chapter of scripture (we're going through The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History), discuss questions concerning the chapter, read a portion of "A Sure Guide to Heaven" by Joseph Alleine, read a prayer out of "The Valley of Vision" and finally go over some catechism questions from the young children's catechism.

It sometimes takes awhile with a 9 year old, 4 year old, 3 year old & a 1 year old but it's getting better.
 

street preacher

Puritan Board Freshman
We have a time where we read a passage of scripture that pertains to a question that they might have had, an issue that we might be dealing with in the house such as a sinful attitude, or just to study the word to teach the children. We have scripture memorization and prayer time as well with a little singing in there somewhere. I either do a charachter study or a topical study with them because the children are so young. We do our topical studies using other scripture with it and I show them how it relates to the rest of the Word. It usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. This also helps with teaching them to sit in church on Sunday morning.
 

Joseph Ringling

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by fredtgreco
If you are attempting to do family worship (and you should), you need to get a copy of this book:

Family Worship by Terry Johnson


I have provided the link to Trinity Book Service, which is discontinuing operations and has a GREAT price on the book!

[Edited on 11/2/2004 by fredtgreco]
A Great price indeed. Amazon.com is selling it from $20.95.

One problem, how do you order from Trinity? I don't see anyway to add the book to a cart. Do you have to be a member or something?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by skinsfanjoe
Originally posted by fredtgreco
If you are attempting to do family worship (and you should), you need to get a copy of this book:

Family Worship by Terry Johnson


I have provided the link to Trinity Book Service, which is discontinuing operations and has a GREAT price on the book!

[Edited on 11/2/2004 by fredtgreco]
A Great price indeed. Amazon.com is selling it from $20.95.

One problem, how do you order from Trinity? I don't see anyway to add the book to a cart. Do you have to be a member or something?
They might be sold out:

Please note, if you can't put an item into your shopping cart, it is because that item is no longer available.
pad
It is also possible that they do not allow you to place orders on the Lord's Day.
 

Beloved

Inactive User
We read a chapter from the Bible, sing a children's hymn of our eldest's choice, and a hymnal hymn, and pray.

We also read a chapter from our current family worship book (Hallowed Be This House by Thomas Howard is what we are reading at the moment), but we may or may not require the children to stay during the chapter book reading.

I prefer family worship to be done in the morning, on the couch in the living room. My husband prefers it to be done after supper around the kitchen table.
 

MattBlack

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, here goes my first post on the Puritan Board! I have a six year old, a four year old, and a one year old. We have several stages to our devotion time.
1. We begin with reviewing and memorizing Benjamin Keach's catechism.
2. We then go through Greek vocabulary. I figure if they begin at this age, it will be second nature the rest of their lives.
3. We turn to the Bible OT or NT and concentrate on applying the Law and the Gospel. This can be done even at this early age effectively. I have seen my six year old in tears in response to the Law.
4. We close in prayer. Each one prays. Sometimes I give instructions as to how to pray and what to pray for. The main thing is not the words, but a genuine love and worship of the Lord in prayer.
5. If there is time, I draw a picture of some aspect of what we learned, and the kids color it.

Oh, we do this most of the time in the evening, though we are thinking of switching to the morning now that we are in the Summer season. The kids can be really tuckered out by the end of these long summer days in Madrid.
 
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