Family Worship Resources

Family worship is like a good meal

by Graeme Young - March 15th, 2004

Family Worship is meant to be different from other times of worship. just as Family Meals are not the same as Children's parties or Adult Dinner Parties.

Children's parties are geared completely for children, and the adults involved adjust their behaviour accordingly to fit in with the party. Adult Dinner Parties are geared for Adults who have been invited. Children are not normally included, but if they are present they are expected to fit in with the needs of the occasion.

Family Meals. however, are for everyone - from the youngest to the oldest -and should be relaxed. enjoyable and satisfying for them all.

When arranging a Family Worship time or a Family Service. we are aiming for the "Family Meal" type of experience. (There are other times of worship when the "Children's Part" or "Adult Dinner Party" are the appropriate style to follow).

Here are some of the features for Family Meals which apply equally well to times of Family Worship:

Organisation

Family Meals are arranged at times when everyone can be present

The organiser of the meal knows the various needs of the different members of the family

The aim is for a meal that the whole family an enjoy

Preparation

A number of people can be involved in planning the menu

Children as well as adults could help to prepare some parts of the meal

Somebody makes sure that all the necessary ingredients are there in time.

Setting up

At the meal table there is an equal place for everyone

The best seating arrangement is considered (eg. very young children are best placed next to a parent)

An attempt is made to keep the time clear of other business which could be dealt with at another time

Menu

The main course is something which nearly everyone will like, with a variety of other dishes that will appeal specifically to different members of the family

Special provision is made for babies, and anyone else for whom the main course is not suitable

A surprise or two is especially appreciated. particularly by the children

Conversation

The emphasis is on interaction between the ages - no one group should dominate the time

Family Meals are good times to "catch up" with one another and build relationships

The range of conversation can be very wide - from laughing and joking, to serious issues that need to be discussed

Attitude

Discipline needs to be enough to keep order. bur not place unnecessary burdens on people

Openness - the contribution of each member should be valued. honoured and listened to

Flexibility - anything can happen when a family gets together, so there should be room for a great variety of things. including the unplanned. to happen.

A Family Meal that has gone well and has been appreciated by everyone present is a great joy to Mum & Dad. In the same way, applying these guidelines to our times of Family Worship should result in a family who are blessed, and a Father who is delighted with his children.

This article is taken from the introduction to the songbook for Family Worship 1 - Let Praise Break Out

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