It is true that Christian discipleship starts at home. The church, of course, plays a vital role in the spiritual development and growth of all believers. However, the home is the genesis of discipleship and spiritual growth. For this reason, families need to engage in family worship, prayer, and devotion regularly. In a world that is busy and pulled in many directions, families must slow down and spend time together with the Lord. In recent years, many excellent resources have come to market that help guide families in worship and devotion at home. One of those resources is Dr. David Murray’s new book Exploring the Bible Together: A 52 Week Family Worship Plan (Crossway, 2020).
Dr. Murray’s book walks through the biblical storyline in one year, allowing families to see God’s plan of redemption from beginning to end. The format selects short passages of Scripture to be read aloud and provides two questions for discussion. Each question is geared at differing age groups within the family in an effort to include everyone in the discussion. A time for prayer is provided at the end, which allows for prayerful consideration and application of the text. This also allows time for families to pray through concerns within the family.
Each theme in Scripture is broken into weekly segments, with six days (Monday – Saturday) of discussion for the biblical text assigned in the book. The seventh day (Sunday) is left open, but Dr. Murray provides six basic discussion questions for the family to consider based on their church’s sermon that week. This feature of the devotional plan proves extremely helpful and allows the family to bring into the direct family application of the teaching and preaching of their local church pastor.
The format of Exploring the Bible Together is exceptionally flexible and allows the family to prioritize devotion and prayer into their daily routine. Although January would be a great time to implement the plan, it can be started at any time in the year. Each day’s devotion is also short and can be easily doubled up if a day is missed. The point of a devotional plan is to provide a guide for families to spend time in worship and prayer. It is not meant to be taken as a legalistic religious activity. Dr. Murray’s format aids this idea. I highly recommend Exploring the Bible Together to families who are looking for a great resource to aid in family worship and devotion.