Leading Your Children in Worship
Parents, do you lead your children in worship of God? No, I’m not talking about a mandatory song session led by you and your guitar. We can be thankful that’s not required of us, and as we grow in our understanding of the nature of true worship, we understand that worship goes beyond our singing and encapsulates all we do (Rom 12:1-2; 1 Cor 10:31).
And yet, God has given parents the unique responsibility of leading our children in worship. We find this in the commands of Deuteronomy 6. We lead our children in worship by loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (v. 5), having God’s Word on our hearts (v. 6), and then teaching our children to do the same (vv. 7-9).
One necessary part of this is to diligently teach our children God’s Word (v. 7). Let me encourage you to not be content with a haphazard approach to teaching your children, or to outsource your responsibility to the church, but instead to deliberately sit down with them and open the Scriptures. And while this will take a unique shape for each family, we all have the same responsibility to raise our children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).
As you consider the shape of your family — the age range of your children and their spiritual maturity — here are a few helpful resources that I recommend to you as you disciple your children:
This short book by Kenneth Taylor is written for preschool children and it is easy to use. It has been described as a systematic theology for children with simple and understandable explanations of essential truths about God and the Gospel.
If your children are young, I also recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. This has become a favorite in our home and Lloyd-Jones does well in capturing the meaning of Bible stories and communicating them to children. She also lays out the big picture of the Bible, and continually points to Jesus and God’s plan of redemption in the Gospel.
Marty Machowski has written an excellent three-year curriculum for family devotions that will take you through the entire Bible. Recommended for elementary age children, these books have five Scripture readings for each week, and include illustrations and discussion questions that you can use as appropriate for your family.
This should go without saying. You’re not required to use a special curriculum, but you must teach your children God’s Word. If you are using a curriculum, do not do so to the neglect of the Scriptures. Let me encourage you to read Scripture to your children daily. It could be a verse or a few chapters. Don’t be ruled by the attention span of toddlers, yet be realistic. Stretch your children and encourage them to grow in their reading and listening of Scripture. When your children can’t read, read to them. When they can read, take turns reading. If the age range and attention span of your children makes things difficult, persevere. It is always worth it, and this is not time wasted. You will not regret reading God’s Word to your children. It is more valuable than you realize.
Last, let me encourage you to join us this Sunday for our monthly Sunday Night Gathering from 6:00-7:00pm. Jared Bridges and I will be sharing about “Family Worship,” and it is our prayer that this evening will encourage and equip you as we seek to center our homes on Christ.
May God bless you and give you wisdom as you disciple your children.
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