Resource List for Family Worship
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:16)
Sadly, many Christian parents often assume their children will simply “coast” towards godliness without intentional, consistent involvement. This isn’t because we think highly of our children’s capacity for self-discipline, but mostly because we simply can’t be bothered. On top of this, many parents are overwhelmed at the prospect of leading worship either because they feel insufficient, or because they don’t know where to start.
To this end, we’ve assembled a brief list of resources to assist parents in leading their families in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (Ages 3-5)
A primary-age book with charming illustrations which helps to show children how the story of the Bible is a story all about Jesus. One you’ll want to move on from fairly quickly once your children learn to read for themselves, but a good place to start and delighted in by families everywhere. Sample here.
The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Voss (Ages 3-5
Written by biblical scholar Geerhardus Vos’ wife, this is a somewhat dated but beautifully illustrated compilation/abridgement of many of the Biblical stories and will provide a good “first exposure” to the Bible for very young children. Sample here.
The New City Catechism for Kids (Ages 3-10)
“52 questions and answers and is perfect for use in both the home and the church.” This is available both as a small book, and a mobile app, which sets the written truths of the Westminster Catechism into simple songs to aid in memorization. Sample here.
New Living Translation Bible (Ages 5+)
Nothing like the real thing, and it’s never too early to get your kids their own physical copy of the Bible. We've found the New Living Translation is a good blend between accuracy and readability and is a great starting place for even young children. Sample here. Many fine editions of NLT's can be purchased through Crossway.
The Ology, Marty Machowski (Ages 5-10)
Great illustrations for younger kids. More of a systematic theology than a day-to-day devotional but a fantastic resource for parents who want to introduce their children to a broad overview of the nuts and bolts of the Christian Faith. Kids will appreciate the whimsical wierdness of the illustrations and parents will appreciate its sound, accessible teaching. Sample here.
The Big Picture Family Devotional, David Helm (Ages 5-10)
This book goes through the Westminster catechism on a very basic level. For each lesson there’s a brief question, an answer, and a suggested passage for memorization. Very straightforward -- good as a supplement or for those just getting started into family worship. You will be able to get through this book in a year if you use it three times a week. Sample here.
Family Worship Bible Guide, Joel Beeke (5-12+)
Short paragraphs of commentary designed to accompany whatever chapter of the Bible you’re currently reading. This could easily be combined with a Bible-reading plan to assist you with working out implications/ applications for the family. A good introduction on how to do family devotions is included in the forward. Sample here.
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions, Starr Mead (Ages 5-12+)
This has been a very popular work throughout the years. Goes through the Westminster Shorter Catechism, one question a week, for 52 weeks. Each day is a short explanation, with a recommended Scripture reading. Max 5-10 minutes a day. A little more in depth than Helm’s. Sample here.
One Year of Dinner Table Devotions and Discussion Starters: A Daily Family Devotional with 365 Opportunities to Grow Closer to God as a Family, Nancie Guthrie (5-12+)
Very simple and straightforward book, very accessible for people who are just starting into family worship or overwhelmed at the prospect of it. Good for all ages, but especially for families with older children/teens. Daily Scripture readings with probing questions afterwards to spark discussion. Sample here.
Voices from the Past (2 Volumes), Richard Rushing (Ages 10+, although younger children should be able to follow)
Excellent daily devotional readings extracted from various puritan writers. We have, sadly, become estranged from the puritan divines — largely due to ignorance, misrepresentation, and/or caricatures. These men were thoroughly biblical, deeply pastoral, and thought often and keenly about the person and work of Christ. They were also "heart surgeons" and able to pinpoint with profound accuracy certain ditches and temptations we often ignore. Highly recommended. Sample here.