Even through different life transitions, Jeannie Wong and her husband try their best to carve out time for weekly family worship. All photos courtesy of the interviewee.

Having regular family worship sessions might sound difficult. But it does not have to be that way.

Sometimes, all it takes to start involves writing down “Family Worship Night” along with a date and time, and sticking that note onto the fridge as a visual reminder.

In this Little Things, Big Faith series, we speak to a family who did just that. Jeannie Wong shares with Living Room by Salt&Light what it means to be intentional about praise and worship in her home.

Remember: No little thing, when done with big faith, is too small. Everything adds up, and will count for something in the long run.

When did you start having weekly family worship?

About two years ago, I thought it was a good idea to have a regular worship night once a week.

I wrote it down on the fridge calendar, and it was my eldest who held us accountable to it by reminding us when the day came.

Later on, when two of our older kids were in primary school and had more revision to do, we adjusted the day of the week that we would have family worship.

Every time we enter a new season of life, that tends to bring about many changes to our family’s schedule. But I believe that we can always start again if we face disruptions to our weekly routine of worship.

Why did you decide to make family worship a regular practice?

We want God to be very real to our children – for them to connect to God, to know that they can pray and worship Him anywhere and anytime, and not just in church on Sundays.

It is very moving to have my children sit next to me, hear them sing, and see them closing their eyes and raising their hands.

I get to witness that the faith is real for them. It is their own faith — they are hearing God and praying to Him themselves.

Jeannie, 39, and her husband Jason, 41, have three children: Joy, 10, Jonathan, 7, Josiah, 5.

How do you do family worship?

My husband plays the guitar, or we play songs on Spotify or search for videos on YouTube.

We usually have one to three songs. To make it fun for the kids, we sometimes give them an instrument, such as a mini guitar or a tambourine, to play with.

The youngest is usually the most enthusiastic to do the action songs, so my husband and I sometimes do the actions as well.

Do you also try to worship together at other times of the day or week?

Yes. During our family worship night, we sing songs that the adults are more familiar with, so I play these songs in the car when I take them to school and at home, so that they will know how to sing them.

I try to make it natural, so that it is not just confined to a certain segment of their life because God is so real.

Once, our family received very disappointing news. After I broke the news to my children, I felt that we should have a time of worship. I wanted us to bring the disappointment to God, as I also did not have the answer.

We played the song “Raise a Hallelujah” on Spotify. It was heartening, that even when faced with very disappointing news, we could still “Hallelujah” (praise the Lord).

It was not always easy to capture the attention of all three kids, especially when they were younger.

Do you face resistance from the children during family worship?

Since our worship nights are held at the end of the day, sometimes the kids would be uncooperative. When they were younger and had a shorter attention span, they would not even sit around.

They would want to jump on us or play the guitar. That is why we thought it would be a good idea to give each of them their own toy instrument or else they would start snatching from one another.

Other times, they might not want to sit next to a family member or they want to sit on their bed. So we decided to move our worship nights from their bedroom to the living room so that there is more space for everyone.

It is the consistency that has value.

Our youngest has also asked to sing his own song, such as a nursery rhyme. When that happens, we try to explain to him that this is worship time, so we choose a song to worship God.

That said, there have been moments when I lost my cool and scolded them. But I apologised and we would try again the following week.

At times, we shorten the session to just one song and then pray — we pray for ourselves to be more obedient, or to be more worshipful and more honouring of God’s presence.

Besides worship, what else do you do with your kids?

Family devotions are also part of our bedtime routine — our kids would read one page of a devotional every night. It is good to start from birth, so that parents also have the “muscle memory”.

When I drive the kids to school in the mornings, I would also sometimes use the YouVersion Bible app to play the dramatised New Living Translation, which has different voices for different characters.

Now that the kids are older, they have started to read the Bible on their own.

Ultimately, Jeannie and her husband hope that their children will worship God anywhere – not just in their home.

For parents thinking of starting family worship at home, how would you encourage them?

You can write down a date and time for “Family Worship Night” on a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge as a reminder.

Start with two songs the kids sing in church. Pray as a family and ask God: “Please help us make this time a good time.”

If you are looking for videos on YouTube, here are a few you can try:

Depending on how much time you have, family worship can be five or 15 minutes. It is the consistency that has value, and it is about being faithful.

This interview is an adaptation from a post that was first published on Living Room.


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About the author

Sophia Huang

Sophia is a child of God, children’s author and mother of three. She lives in awe of how the divine works in the ordinary, when Jesus shows up in the most unexpected ways.