Category: Articles

Three Ways to Help Fathers Lead Family Worship

June 30, 2024

Many Christian men know they have a God-given responsibility to lead family worship. They remember how God called Abraham to “command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord” (Gen. 18:19). They’re aware that Moses instructs fathers to teach the commands of God “diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house…” (Deut. 6:7). They’re familiar with the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul instructs fathers: “Do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). And yet even with all this biblical knowledge, it’s still common for Christian fathers to feel ill-equipped or to struggle with getting started in family worship. As a result, they may neglect the practice altogether or simply give up due to discouragement.

Because God has created us and commanded us to worship him—and because he specifically instructs fathers to care for the spiritual growth and well-being of their wife and children—Christian men should encourage fathers and equip them in leading family worship in their homes. But what does such brotherly encouragement look like in real-life practice? Here are three practical ways that Christian men can help fathers lead family worship faithfully in their homes.


Help Fathers to Create a Realistic Plan

When I was introduced to family worship a year or so after we had our first child, I struggled to know where to begin. I knew that I was called to lead my family to church. I knew I was charged to pray with them. But even though I wanted the Scriptures to be central in my home, I felt ill-equipped to lead us in a focused time of worship, practically-speaking. I know I’m not the only Christian father who has felt this way—many of us understand God’s calling to be the spiritual leader of our home and desire to obey him! However, since family worship has largely been neglected in the church (and in Christian families over the last many years,) most men haven’t a clue where to start.

Simply telling men that they need to be leading family worship does not yield the fruit we might expect. Christian men in particular need to be able to pull other Christian fathers close relationally and help them get started. It may be as simple as giving them an outline of what to do for the first few weeks until the father gets more comfortable and is able to discern what works best for his specific family. While there are a variety of ways to do family worship, the most essential elements seem to be reading/teaching the Scriptures, prayer, and praise (singing, thanksgiving). A very helpful way to help a father who is trying to lead family worship for the first time is to simply sit down with him and help him create a specific and realistic plan for his family.


Show Fathers by Example

Just as growth in prayer often comes as we hear mature believers pray, fathers can grow in leading family worship competently as they see it modeled by fathers who are more seasoned in leading their families spiritually. The Apostle Paul sought not only to teach early Christians the ways of Christ, but also to be an example which they could see and imitate (see 2 Thess. 3:6-12; Acts 20:33-35).

One of the most effective ways to help fathers lead family worship in their homes is to model it in our own homes and allow them to see it in action. If you are seeking to help a father in this way, consider inviting him and his family over for dinner one evening. After enjoying food and fellowship together, invite them to stay for and participate in family worship. Doing so allows the father—along with the entire family—to see that other Christian families worship God together in their homes. This not only gives the father a tangible example to follow, it also promotes the kind of fellowship and worship which combats a “Sunday only” Christianity.


Hold Fathers Accountable

Lastly, just as any Christian needs healthy accountability from fellow believers, Christian fathers need to be held accountable by other godly men for leading their homes spiritually. If we truly believe that God requires men to lead their wives and children spiritually, we should love one another well enough to welcome and foster such accountability. As the author of Hebrews commands believers to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (Heb. 10:24-25).

One of the ways we can obey this passage as men is by encouraging (stirring up) fathers to be faithful in their spiritual leadership in the home, which includes the regular leading of family worship. As uncomfortable as it may be for some, we demonstrate love for our brothers in Christ when we come to them and ask how they are faring in this aspect of Christian fatherhood. If it sounds like family worship isn’t on their radar, or that they feel awkward or inept as a leader, we can lovingly exhort them toward taking a next step by God’s grace. This might sound something like:

“Brother, God has called you to be the spiritual leader of your home—his Spirit will help you to live into that calling. Remember that we have an enemy who is trying to destroy us and our families, and our world opposes Christ and his Lordship. Don’t give up—take the spiritual leadership of your wife and children seriously for the glory of God and the good of your family. Let’s get together and talk about how you might establish a regular routine. Would you be willing to come over for dinner and join us for worship afterwards? That way, you can see what it can look like and consider how to lead it in your home.”

Being a husband and a father is a great blessing from the Lord (Prov. 18:22; Ps. 127:3-5). The calling, however, comes with great responsibility and many challenges. Because so much is at stake in how seriously we take the calling to lead our families spiritually—and because our oppositions are so great—we cannot afford to let each other neglect this important facet of godly living. To father well, Christian fathers need other Christian fathers. May we together seek to raise up a generation who will know and fear the Lord.


  • Kent Langham
    Kent is the Pastor of Counseling and Discipleship at The Cross Church in Pensacola, FL. He is an ACBC certified counselor and holds a Dedmin in Biblical Counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife Molly for 9 years, and they have three delightful children.
    View all posts

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