First things first, as parents, we cannot succumb to intimidation as we set out on what is the delightful journey of family worship. I remember as a father of two young daughters the weight of responsibility I felt when I first came to see that family worship was a necessary part of my raising children in the “discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord”. I was hindered by intimidation and postponed starting for weeks. Learn from my weakness and “do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
With that out of the way, let’s look at a the basics of how one prepare’s to lead their times of family worship.
- Give time for preparation: This doesn’t have to take long. You aren’t preparing a sermon or a monologue of great length. More than anything, you are preparing your heart and readying your mind to share God’s truth.
- Pray: When you set aside time to prepare (even if that is 3-5 minutes), make some portion of your preparation a time for prayer. Here we express to God our need for His help, our longing for His presence, and our gratitude for His help in times past. This is the perfect opportunity to plead with the Lord to powerfully work in your family and redeem any that are unconverted.
- Read the text: This should be obvious but it is worth stating either way. It would be delightful if you could feed upon the text yourself (again, even if this happens in 1-2 minutes) before you take the text and feed it to others.
- Think through the text: What is the central theme of the text? What especially stands out? Is there a key verse or phrase to consider?
- One golden nugget: Ultimately, you want to land on ONE, SINGLE nugget to take from the text. What is the one help, the one thought, the one challenge that the text is communicating? Give your family one tasty bite of food that they can savor throughout the day.
- Discussion questions: Have one or two socratic questions to help facilitate discussion (the younger the children the less socratic the questions need to be). Discussion is often one of the most fruitful portions in our family worship. Learn (over time) to ask good questions!
Keep it simple. All of this can happen in 5 minutes. If you have more time, spend it in prayer and better familiarizing yourself with the text through the use of a good commentary. You will find your preparation helps to overcome nervousness and fuel your teaching.