How can I maximize my home’s potential to be a worship center?
We often think of the home as a place in which basic needs are met, especially the physical needs of food, rest, and shelter. Your home can also be a place where your family’s foundational spiritual needs are met through devotional times, discussions, and other activities.
Though worship within the home should not replace interaction with the Body of Christ (see Hebrews 10:24–25), it can provide a unique opportunity for your children to learn about true worship, in spirit and in truth. (See John 4:23–24.) Family worship times also show children that worship is a personal gift that each of us can give to our heavenly Father.
As you nurture an atmosphere of worship in your home, your family members will be refreshed, instructed, and strengthened for ministry in the church and community.
Respect Personal Quiet Times
In a busy household, it’s important to foster a respectful attitude about the time and space required for a person to faithfully have personal devotions. Make prayer, Bible reading, and conversation about God a part of your daily routine, and encourage your children to follow your example. Teach them to honor God and demonstrate their love for you by occupying themselves quietly and keeping interruptions to a minimum when you need to be alone with the Lord.
Have Family Devotions
Having devotional times with your family will greatly impact the spiritual atmosphere of your home. As you worship God together, you affirm the value you place on your family’s walk with God. Make these times interactive with Bible study, discussion, and both individual and group prayer times. By demonstrating your reverence for God, your love for Him, and your desire to express that honor, love, and gratitude through worship, your children will learn from your example.
Focus on Scripture
Learn to memorize and meditate on Scripture. Each week, choose a Scripture verse or passage to focus on, and write the verse or verses on a 3 x 5 card so that you can keep them nearby for reference throughout the day. Perhaps your family can work on memorizing Scripture passages together.
Whenever you have the opportunity, discuss how God’s Word applies to life. Also, look for ways to use Scripture in prayer daily. For example, Proverbs 19:20 says, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” You could guide your children to use that Scripture in prayer as follows:
- “Heavenly Father, would You please help me to pay attention when I receive wise counsel from my mother, my father, and my brothers and sisters today?”
- “Lord, thank You that we can go to church today. Please help us to hear counsel and receive instruction through our pastor and our Sunday School teachers. We want to be wise. Thank You for giving us wise teachers.”
- “Father, thank You for giving us the ability to learn and reason. Please help me to heed wise instruction and apply it in my life, whether that’s learning a math lesson, using a new soup recipe, writing a letter, driving carefully, sharing with my little sister, or studying your Word. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to teach us all about You. We love You, God.”
- “Dear God, thank You for teaching us that in Proverbs 19:20, latter end means ‘the future.’ Would you please help me to gain wisdom today, through the counsel and instruction I receive from others, and would you help me to faithfully apply that counsel and instruction today and in the future? I want to be wise, Lord. Thank You for giving us wisdom.”
Consider God’s Creation
Seeing God’s glorious handiwork in nature often leads to worship. The Book of Psalms is filled with examples of worship inspired by the psalmists’ awe in the beauty of God’s creation.
Take time to enjoy nature in and around your home. Pull back the curtains and let in the light. Plant a garden. Hang a birdfeeder. Select art and photography for your home that showcases God’s glory in creation. Watch nature documentaries and discuss them as a family. Delight in God’s creation together!
Praise the Lord in Song
Your music selections help set the tone of your home. If you or your children play instruments, include hymns and songs of worship and praise in your repertoire. Play musical recordings that draw you into worship. Choral works, instrumental pieces, and selections of hymns and worship songs will tune your heart to praise God throughout the day. “. . . Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18–20).
Minister to Others
In the early Church, the homes of Christians were centers of ministry where believers met daily to encourage one another in God’s Word, pray, and share meals. Today, effective spiritual outreach can be accomplished through numerous avenues in the home. As the Lord enables you, take your worship focus beyond your immediate family members by opening your home for times of worship with others, perhaps in the following ways.
- Small Group Bible Studies
In-home Bible studies have helped many people come to salvation in Christ and grow spiritually. Studies can be held for men, women, couples, youth, children, professional groups, and families. Partner with your local church to host a small group Bible study. It will be a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with other believers and to reach out to unbelieving neighbors.
- Times of Worship in Song
Invite your neighbors or friends to join you for a meal and introduce them to your favorite hymns. Read accounts about the hymn writers and circumstances that inspired those hymns. Read a Psalm or another passage of Scripture, and then sing spiritual songs that have put those words into musical works.
- Missionary Projects
Does your family know a missionary or know of a missionary family that is serving God in a foreign country or even in your own country? Has God drawn your family’s attention to a particular mission field? As a family project, pray, give, and correspond with these missionaries throughout the year. Perhaps you can also gain personal experience in missions by visiting a missionary family or traveling to a mission field with your church.
- Neighborhood Witnessing
Living in a neighborhood, an apartment building, or on a college campus provides many opportunities to demonstrate love, understanding, and assistance. Look for ways to build relationships, and be prepared to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ with those you meet.
- Outreach to Broken Families
Today many families are divided by divorce, which makes the outreach of strong Christian families even more essential. Look for ways that you can demonstrate God’s love to broken families. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction . . .” (James 1:27).
This material is adapted from pages 169–173 of the Men’s Manual, Volume II.