While this season of confinement presents unique challenges for each individual and each family, one question facing parents is, How do I shepherd my children through this? Hopefully every Christian parent is asking that question, but I’m thinking here specifically of parents with younger children. These children don’t fully understand what’s going on, but they can sense the uncertainty and anxiety around them. So what should we as parents do to help them? How do we use this unplanned season for their spiritual benefit?
There are a variety of good ways to answer that question, but I want to offer one suggestion for families with young children. If you haven’t already, now is the time to establish a routine for family worship. If you’ve already got a routine, then stick with it. Especially now. The regular practice of family worship can help provide spiritual stability to this otherwise disorienting season.
So what is family worship?
Family worship, as it’s often called, is simply a time for the family to gather in order to hear and discuss God’s Word, pray together, and sing together. It’s really that simple. You can adapt this time depending on the age of your children and your family’s situation. Family worship shouldn’t be confined to times of quarantine, of course. It’s a great discipline to practice throughout the year, but it can be particularly useful in this season of confinement, uneasiness, and fear.
Young hearts and minds need to have their attention directed toward Jesus. They need to think more on Him than they do on any virus or pandemic or whatever they’ve heard it called. They need to be regularly reminded of God’s sovereignty, love, wisdom, power, goodness, etc. This doesn’t mean that we hide them from life’s harder realities—children need to know (in age-appropriate ways) what sin has done to the world and how God’s people should respond to trials and suffering. At the same time, they need to hear more about a Savior who came to die on the cross for sinners than they do about social distancing and “flattening the curve” and how we think all of this will end. (Come to think of it, this is good advice for us adults too!)
With all this in mind, we’re providing some Family Worship Guides aimed at helping parents (particularly those with younger children) read and discuss God’s Word, pray together, and sing together. The readings for each day come from the Gospel of Mark, and they are intended to help us fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Each guide provides parents with a simple summary of the passage as well as suggested answers under each discussion question.
Click on the links below to download any or all of the sixteen different Family Worship Guides based on the Gospel Mark. You’ll also see a song sheet for each week that contains the lyrics to the song that corresponds with that particular week.
Family Worship Guide Week 1 Song
Family Worship Guide Week 1 Day 1
Family Worship Guide Week 1 Day 2
Family Worship Guide Week 1 Day 3
Family Worship Guide Week 1 Day 4
Family Worship Guide Week 1 Day 5
Family Worship Guide Week 2 Song
Family Worship Guide Week 2 Day 1
Family Worship Guide Week 2 Day 2
Family Worship Guide Week 2 Day 3
Family Worship Guide Week 2 Day 4
Family Worship Guide Week 2 Day 5
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Song
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Day 1
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Day 2
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Day 3
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Day 4
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Day 5
Family Worship Guide Week 3 Day 16