Dr. Josh Mulvihill
Gospel-centered, Bible-saturated corporate worship is supremely important for your family and children. Hundreds of worship services with Mom and Dad during the child and teens years is extremely impactful. Let your children see you prioritize gathering for weekly worship over all other life options, singing to God with joy, giving your time and finances to the church, and submitting to the preaching of the Word. Worshipping corporately is critical as it will enable children to develop Christian fellowship and provide opportunities for serving, giving, missions, and engagement in the discipleship ministries of the church. If your children are new to corporate worship, here are a few suggestions that may be helpful as you train your children to worship corporately:
1. Understand the biblical value of teaching children to worship.
Your child was created to worship God. The prophet Isaiah points out this truth when he says, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created for my glory” (Isa. 43:7). Worship is the most critical, the most urgent, and the most glorious action that can take place in a child’s life.
Parents carefully teach children many skills necessary to become a mature adult. We teach children how to be financially responsible, cook and clean, care for our bodies, work hard, and develop good relationships with other people. As important as these skills are, there is no greater task in life than training a child to worship God. This is true in congregational life as well as in the home.
Worship is the term we use to describe how we intentionally express the worth of God. God is worthy of our praise and honor in all places and at all times. We instinctively join with the cry of the Psalmist: “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker” (Ps. 95:6).
Although it is natural to have a consciousness of God, children do not innately know God or worship Him without the assistance of parents. The knowledge of God must be awakened because every child’s mind is capable of a dispassionate belief in God, and the heart is capable of focusing its affection on the wrong source. Congregational worship helps children develop a great and grand view of God, so their heart is not captivated by lesser gods.
2. Discuss worship expectations with your children.
Jen and I tell our children that we expect them to be calm, quiet, and pay attention. Three simple things. Some of our children learned quickly. Others tested boundaries and needed loving guidance with a whisper in the ear, a squeeze on the thigh, or even an invitation to join me in the hallway