Pastors Urged to Lead Family Worship Daily

Thousands of pastors were told on Tuesday about the significance of family worship.

"Family worship is invaluable," said Joel R. Beeke, president at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.

On a more assertive note, he stressed, "Your family owes its allegiance corporately to God."

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Beeke addressed pastors attending Desiring God ministry's annual conference in Minneapolis. The theme of the three-day event, which ended Wednesday, was "The Powerful Life of the Praying Pastor."

Ahead of Beeke's talk John Piper, founder of Desiring God, urged pastors to start the tradition of worshipping regularly in the home and not to give the excuse that such a tradition wasn't passed down by their parents.

"Tradition starts somewhere. Don't think it can't begin with you," Piper said.

For Beeke, family worship was held once a week on Sundays. His family would pray together and his father would read Pilgrim's Progress. But they never engaged each other in conversation during those times.

Today, Beeke leads his family in worship every day.

He admitted, "It's the highlight of my day. I won't miss it for anything."

"I know to the core of my being ... [it] is critical to have family worship."

Beeke, father of three, challenged fellow pastors to view family worship the way the Puritans did.

The Puritans took it so seriously and saw it as so foundational that they would bar a man from communion if he failed to lead his family in worship, he said. Family worship was considered the backbone of society.

Quickly going over the theological foundations of family worship, the systematic theological professor noted that God is a family God and not a lonely Allah.

"He's a triune God," he explained. "He is an intra-trinitarian relationship. That is the basis of family relationships. We ought to emulate Him in family worship."

Briefing pastors on how to implement worship time in the home, Beeke advised them to aim for brevity – 10 to 20 minutes – and to hold it every day.

"You need spiritual food every day and so does your family," he said.

The worship time should consist of singing, Scripture reading, biblical instruction and prayer, he outlined. And everyone should be there.

Don't make excuses to avoid family worship, he warned, such as lack of time or tiredness.

"If [the Lord Jesus] wasn't too tired to die for you, you shouldn't be too tired to live for him," the Grand Rapids, Mich., pastor said plainly.

"We must," he emphasized, "implement and we must teach our congregations to implement family worship in our homes. God requires it of us. The Lord Jesus is worthy of family worship."

He also reminded pastors that "sometimes, our most solid growth is internal growth and it comes from families."

Whether a pastor has failed in leading family worship or never tried it, Beeke simply urged, "Begin today."

"Do it. Yes, you won't have perfect children and yes, you will have problems but you will find that family worship will set the tone for your entire home and your communication and it will help you in every way."

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