There are times in any church-going family’s life when you simply can’t get to church. You may be on vacation, stuck at home with an illness or blocked in by a few feet of snow. The next time you find that you can’t get your whole family to church, bring church to your family! Here is an outline of a home family church service. You can use it as a jumping off point for your own creative ideas on how to do church at home with your family.
1. Listen to music. Pick your favorite Christian CD and have the music playing in the background as your family assembles for the service. You don’t need to be too formal about this. Pajamas are okay as are pillows for lounging on the living room floor.
2. Sing a song together. If your church is like ours, your regular Sunday morning worship may not include a lot of hymns. Use this time at home with your family to teach your children some of the old hymns. See if you can acquire a hymnal, or simply look the lyrics up online. Even if you can’t carry a tune, you can read the words of some of the classic hymns to your family. Some great choices are How Great Thou Art, All Creatures of our God and King and Fairest Lord Jesus. Take a few minutes to explain the unfamiliar words to your children to reveal the depths of these beautiful works of praise.
3. Collect an offering. While the offering plate may not be passed at your home church service, there are plenty of other things we can give to God that are not monetary. Give everyone a slip of paper and pencil and talk about some creative ways you can give to God in the coming week. Some ideas include: reading my Bible instead of playing video games one day or making a treat for a neighbor “just because.” Pass a small basket or box to collect these “offerings” to the Lord.
4. Read God’s Word. For this particular home church idea, read the entire book of Ruth. Make sure it is a version that is appropriate for the littlest ears in the group such as the Contemporary English Version. If you choose a more traditional translation, take the time to explain difficult words and concepts.
5. The sermon. A home church sermon can look very different from a traditional church service. The intimate environment affords the opportunity for discussion and questions. Following the reading of Ruth, ask some simple comprehension questions such as:
- What was the name of Naomi’s two daughters-in-law?
- What happened to Naomi’s sons and husband?
- Where was Naomi originally from?
- What was the name of Ruth’s baby?
You can then ask some more in-depth questions such as:
- What does the term “kinsman redeemer” mean?
- How were women treated or viewed during this time in history?
- What were some of the risks of being a woman without the support of a male figure?
You can finally dig deeper and seek some spiritual application from the text with these questions:
- Do you think that Ruth did the right thing following Naomi? Why or why not?
- Do you think Ruth understood why Naomi had her do what she did on the threshing floor with Boaz?
- Did Ruth obey because she understood or because she trusted Naomi?
- In what ways are unsaved people like Naomi and Ruth?
- How does Boaz’ relationship with Ruth and Naomi compare with Jesus’ relationship to sinners?
6. Pray. You can end your service with a round robin style of prayer, worshiping God for what He revealed to each family member through His word and His Spirit.
Church is not a place, it is a thing. Once we can realize this, we can “do church” anywhere!
[Photo credit: jade from moguefile.com]