In God in the Wasteland David Wells defines culture as “the set of shared values that are held to prescribe what is normal in society.” As I’ve indicated before, when I first started hearing the words “Family Worship,” I was a little intimidated. It seemed like a weird thing to do, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to try to preach a sermon to my wife and kids or come up with something wonderfully creative on a daily basis. It is so liberating to recognize that all that is meant by “Family Worship” is that we seek to read the Bible, sing a hymn or spiritual song, and pray together on a regular basis. (I think it’s also a great idea to memorize Scripture together and try to learn the answers to catechism questions).
For many evangelicals, it seems normal to watch blasphemous, vain, immoral tripe on television as a family, but it seems strange to even consider singing a hymn, reading a chapter of the Bible, and praying together as a family.
This is a huge problem in evangelical culture, and it shows that we are indeed more conformed to the world than we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
So I plan to distribute Don Whitney’s booklet on Family Worship as often as I get the opportunity, and I’m also glad that Richard Fields has developed a new tool for us at Redeemer. Those of you who are pastors or serving at churches, I commend this idea to you. We learned from Mark Dever that it is a good idea to plan out worship services in advance. We are a couple months ahead, and as we work ahead this way, Richard is taking our planned worship services and creating devotional guides that correspond to the worship services. This way an individual or a family can read the biblical passages and sing the songs that will be read, preached, and sung the coming Lord’s day.
I praise God that Richard came up with this idea, and I hope it will benefit you. If we are to staunch the hemorrhaging of kids going off to college and leaving the faith of their fathers, we who are fathers must resolve that we will be part of an evangelical culture in which family worship is normal not weird. The two years since our first child was born have flown by. Let’s get to work.