What is the best time of the day for family worship?
Let’s admit it. We have busy schedules that pull us as families in many different directions.
If you’re in my home, I may have to leave early for some work appointment. My younger children may not have gotten to bed on time so they are sleeping in. My older children may have stayed out late for work or a game, etc.
With a schedule like that, when can I have family worship together in my home? There is no easy answer.
I know that some families will have family worship in the morning and evening to accommodate a busy household.
However, if you are going to choose one time of the day, the rule of thumb is this: Do it early. In other words, have it as early as possible in the day.
Now, for you, that may mean in the evening. But do it as soon as possible before it slips by.
Ideally, this means in the morning, at breakfast, or even before breakfast. I know of a family or two, for example, that regularly have family worship by 7:30 a.m.
Now is this too early for you? Too late even? No problem. I won’t pretend to know your schedule or how to regulate it.
However, I do know this if your family is like mine.
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Procrastination is a killer. ‘Later today’ is often the death-nell to family worship.
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Good intentions without a plan for family worship end up just that—good intentions. By the end of the day, for one reason or another, it just didn’t happen.
The irony for me is that today I left early for some work. By the time I returned home for the night, little children were in bed. No family worship together.
Martin Luther put it well— “How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.’”
Or, in the words of Peter Drucker, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
I am not here, however, to beat you up or throw a guilt trip on you for missing family worship. It happens, I well know.
However, I do like the analogy by pastor and podcaster Kevin Swanson (at Generations With a Vision). When missing out on family worship, it’s like failing to brush your teeth. It’s not sin, but it should feel (and these are my words), yucky. It should feel weird. It should feel like I need to get to it as soon as possible.
Why the urgency? Why the importance of doing this early in the day?
I think Pastor Douglas Wilson nails it here in Mother Kirk: Essays and Forays in Practical Ecclesiology (pg.126). He writes, “When we gather in family worship, we are not setting aside God’s portion of the day, but are reminding the entire family that the entire day is His.”
So if you are an early bird as a family, your time of worship offers opportunity to give proper focus for the day. Or, for you night owls—the next day after a goodnight’s sleep.
What are other challenges for you in getting everyone together for family worship?
What is the best time of the day for your family worship?