As Christians it is our privilege and responsibility to attend church regularly, just as Christ did (Luke 4:16, Hebrews 10:25). However, as much as we would like to be in church, there may be times when it is not possible. On such occasions we fail to honor God, and set a bad example for our children, if we simply skip worship or watch religious television. Those are the occasions when a Christian father ought to lead his family in worship, and this guide has been prepared with that object in mind. [The words in italics may be read by the head of the house, as he leads the family in worship.]

Because the Bible says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4), worship begins with a song of praise and thanksgiving to God.
The opening Hymn is #_____.

Because Christ said, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20), we invoke the name of God immediately after the opening song. The head of the house might do this by saying, “Let us begin our worship in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” That statement should be followed by a prayer, which in turn is followed by a second hymn.
We will now sing hymn. #_____ .

Because the Bible says, “If I regard sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18), the invocation is followed by a confession of sins. The head of the house might initiate that confession by saying:
At this time I would like everyone to close their eyes, bow their head, and take a few moments to confess their sins unto God. Just as the publican (in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican) confessed his sins, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

Because God has said, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people,” (Isaiah 40:1), the confession of sins is followed by God's Word of mercy and forgiveness. Here the head of the house, acting as God's spokesman, assures those who have confessed their sins that they have forgiveness in Christ. He might do that by saying:
God's Word to David, when he repented, and all who repent is, “The Lord hath put away thy sin”, for the Bible tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. // And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1John 1:7,9, 2Samuel 12:13).

This word of forgiveness may be followed by a hymn of praise and glory to God.
Let us now sing hymn #_____.

Since those present have received God’s word of forgiveness, the head of the house leads in a general prayer. It is here that all prayer requests are taken before the throne of God. It is here that the worshipers pray for the rulers of the nation, the conversion of the heathen, and for God's help in every need. This prayer is made remembering that Jesus said, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they ask, it shall be done for them of my father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).
At the conclusion of this prayer all present should say, “Amen” for it is their prayer.

 The reading of God's Word follows the general prayer. This custom goes back to the time of Ezra and was a regular part of worship at the time of Christ (Nehemiah 8:2-4, Luke 4:16-17). The readings may be read in unison, or read responsively. Although every service does not include a reading from the Old Testament, it is customary to have readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Epistles.
The Old Testament reading is found in __________.
Psalm # _________ will be read responsively.
The Gospel reading is found in ____________.
The Epistle reading is found in ____________.

Having heard the Word of God, the worshipers respond with a confession of faith. This custom was part of the worship services that Christ attended and it became a part of Christian worship. The use of the Apostles' Creed can be traced back to the time of the Apostles, and every part of it comes from the Bible. It begins with the words, “I believe” because every person must believe for himself.
Having heard the Word of God, let us confess our faith in the words of the Apostles’ Creed
    I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
    And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, died for our sins, and was buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.

The Creed is followed by a hymn of faith, which is followed by the sermon.
We will now sing hymn #_____.

    Like the Bible readings, the sermon has its roots in the exposition of Scripture begun by Ezra (Nehemiah 8:2-4). In a family setting it need not be long, but it should point the worshipers to Christ as the source of all righteousness, and it should present the Word of God, not the opinions of the speaker (1Timothy 1: 7-9, Romans 10:4, Jeremiah 23:26).
    If the sermon consists of reading a verse of Scripture, commenting on it, and then reading another verse, etc. make it clear where your comments begin, where they end, and when you start to read the next verse; otherwise you will lose your listeners.
    Also avoid comments that raise questions and doubts, such as conjecture about what a word might mean or how a verse should be translated (Romans 14:1, Titus 3:9). Do not try to interpret God's Word, just call attention to what it says, point out how it applies to our lives, and if appropriate cite parallel passages. Remember, your purpose is to preach God's Word, not your opinions or explanations.

The sermon may be closed with the words, Now may the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. AMEN (Philippians 4:7).

The Lord's prayer, which all present repeat in unison, follows the sermon. (The word “Our” indicates that it was intended to be a group prayer.)
Let us all join in the Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord's prayer is followed by the benediction which is in turn followed by the closing hymn.

 The Benediction was instituted by God and is one of the most ancient parts of the worship service (Numbers 6:22-27). The head of the house closes the worship service by speaking this blessing upon all present.
The Lord bless you, and keep you:
The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you:
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. …AMEN

Let us now close with hymn. #_____.


    If there is no gospel preaching church in your area, if dangerous driving conditions prevent church attendance, or if worship services are not being offered on holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, you should conduct your own family worship service. If you are in an area where there is no church, you should invite someone to worship with you every week (Hebrews 10:25). If you do not have hymnals, the head of the house can sing one line of a song, the congregation can repeat it, and then he can sing the next line etc.
    In a video made before the iron curtain came down, I saw an underground church service in which two families worshiped while standing in a circle in a living room. Maintaining regular worship is our service of love to Christ for all He has done for us, and those families were taking a great risk in order to do His will. Can we do less? Since God uses the worship service to nourish us spiritually by bestowing His gifts of repentance, faith, and forgiveness upon us, it is only as we stay close to the Word that we stay strong in faith (1Corinthians 12:3, Romans 10:17, Romans 1:16, 1Peter 1:5, John 21:15-17). Gary Ray Branscome