JES4 – 3 Epic Fails in Family Worship


I just recently started Family Worship but it feels like I have more fails than wins under my belt. Then again, what is the win? We can easily overlook the long hard habitual good for momentary lapses of weakness and failures, what a shame!

Why magnify rather mortify sin?!

We have to define how we measure success in this area just as we do in others. In this post, I’m going to highlight 3 epic fails that can tend to happen in Family Worship.


1. When Family Worship MUST be perfect.
We all have either seen someone struggle or know first hand what’s it like to be paralyzed by fear. As parents, we learn quickly that most things with children are going to be messy. However, when it comes to faith both of these understandings can seem to escape our mind.

We take a fatalistic mindset of ourselves and our kids. Why? We forgot who it was all about to begin with – God. Don’t let attention spans, bad days, or anything else dictate to us how much faith we will practice especially in leading our family to meet with God.

2. When Family Worship becomes only ritualistic.
The goal of Family Worship is not to have a “service” within the house and then carry about as heathens. The goal is, as the Puritans said, to build a church in the house.

Our understanding of church has to be more biblical. The church is a called out people, called out to God. The church is not a building. The church is not an event. We don’t just go to church. We are the church.

But let’s not teach our kids to say that and then rarely “be” the church in front of them. This is an Intentionality we must take on. BE must he an aggressive active working word not a passive, interchangeable verb.

We did that type of thing in the past with WWJD, remember? We would wear bracelets and repeat mantras and then often times didn’t show them a life that is Spirit filled.

A moralistic life is a low aim. A missional life is the Christ-centered life!

The point is that we don’t do things just because we’re Christians. We don’t want our kids giving grains like “That’s what mom and dad did.” We want Family Worship give them the why and love Him and live for Him. We live on mission together as a family with His glory as the only goal.

3. When we worship Family Worship.
The ultimate mistake we can make is the sin of idolatry. We have often made our families our idols and struggle with that daily. However, we can also make this time that is set aside for God become a disgusting god when we lose sight of Him.

This is easier than it sounds. We do it with music and many other good forms of worship like work. Work is meant to glorify God. We are prone to this. Fallen man falls on the first commandment again and again.

Let Jesus Lead His Family

Thank God that He is gracious. Thank God that His Holy Spirit is faithful to convict us of this sin and to lead us to repentance. Thank Jesus that He showed us his Father’s will was more important than any agenda ever. Thank God that our savior king died on a cross.

His heroic moment was what looked to the world to be an epic fail, on his knees, de-bearded, naked, blistered back, head swollen, then hosted up, on the cross for our shame. Can you accept that image of Jesus? For a time it looked like He really lost.

He took on our shame and  not just metaphorically. When we stop and say, “Jesus, are the good and better Son sent by the perfect Father. Teach me not to make disciples of me, with your children, but of you.”

Do we know that every sin, every epic fail, every minute off-skew detail was taken care of a long time ago? Let us rest assured in that. The only perfect, blameless one, Jesus can and did handle it. We can’t. We collapse under the weight of it.

Let’s not let it crush us or our families. Let us be single minded in bringing God His glory.

About James Edward Sharp

I am a Christian husband, father, musician, writer and teacher. My focuses in life are family, missions, worship and music.
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