The Puritans said the benefits of family worship are so great they are “impossible to describe.” In this series I’ll be attempting to highlight ten of its advantages.
The sixth benefit of homes gathering daily to read Scripture, sing and pray is that it edifies visitors.
Family Worship has vanished
Don Whitney once asked a class of 115 seminary students: “How many of you grew up in homes where family worship was practiced?” Seven raised their hands. Again: “How many have visited in homes where you have seen family worship taking place?” No one raised a hand.
Motivate your guests toward imitation
Family worship is rare even in Christian homes. So when guests come over, don’t put your lamp under a basket. Show them the beauty of this sacred gathering. Most have never been a part of such a thing. Many will leave earnest and motivated to establish such a practice in their own home.
You would be embarrassed to have a special guest at your home without giving him your best food and lodging. Yet why are you not ashamed to send him away with an empty soul? The Psalmist said: “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame” (Ps. 119:46). The Lord could use this gathered time of worship as a turning point toward the guest’s conversion, his calling into missions, or his confession of sin.
Church history confirms that some of the best saints refused to allow such an opportunity to pass. When the Act of Uniformity (1662) in England forbade the public preaching of God’s Word, relatives would often gather in each other’s homes. Because the law knew family worship was a non-negotiable (1Tm. 3:4-5), they often made arrests during evening devotions. A big catch all at once, they thought.
I wonder when the authorities today would be most confident to find the whole family assembled.