A nice option for Family Worship is to read the Bible together as a family. Of course, at first your family might feel this is boring, but it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of ways to make the reading enjoyable, to bring the scriptures alive. The April, 2009 Awake! article Young People Ask – How Can I Make Bible Reading Enjoyable? has a many great ideas that can be used when reading the Bible for family worship. Here are some of the suggestions:
Convert lists of names into family trees.
Create diagrams. For instance, as you read about a faithful character, connect that person’s qualities and acts with the blessings he or she received.
Draw pictures to illustrate the account.
Draw a storyboard, a series of simple pictures to illustrate a sequence of events. Describe what’s happening in each scene.
Build a scale model of structures, such as Noah’s ark.—For example, see Awake! of January 2007, page 22.
Read aloud — Assign one person to read the narration. Others can take on character parts.
Select an account, and turn it into a news story. Report the event from several perspectives by including “interviews” with the main characters and eyewitnesses.
Take an account in which a character made an unwise decision and imagine a different ending! For example, consider Peter’s denial of Jesus. (Mark 14:66-72) How could Peter have better responded to the pressure?
Write your own drama. Include lessons that can be learned from the account.—Perform this drama with a small group of your friends.
The article also provides several ideas on digging deeper into an account. This might be especially helpful for older children or even couples. Here are some of the ideas suggested:
Consider the setting. Examine the timing, location, and circumstances surrounding a passage.
Example: Read Ezekiel 14:14. About what age may Daniel have been when Jehovah mentioned him as a good example alongside Noah and Job?
Clue: Ezekiel chapter 14 was recorded just five years after Daniel was exiled to Babylon—likely as a teenager.
The hidden gem: Was Daniel too young for Jehovah to notice his faithfulness? What good decisions led to blessings for him? (Daniel 1:8-17) How can Daniel’s example help you to make good decisions?
Analyze details. Sometimes just a word or two is significant.
Example: Compare Matthew 28:7 with Mark 16:7. Why did Mark include the detail that Jesus would soon appear to the disciples “and Peter”?
Clue: Mark was not an eyewitness of these events; evidently, he got his information from Peter.
The hidden gem: Why must Peter have felt reassured to hear that Jesus wanted to see him again? (Mark 14:66-72) How did Jesus prove himself a real friend to Peter? How can you imitate Jesus and be a real friend to others?
Do further research. Consult Bible literature for explanations.
Example: Read Matthew 2:7-15. When did the astrologers visit Jesus?
Clue: See The Watchtower of January 1, 2008, page 31
The hidden gem: How, evidently, did Jehovah provide materially for Jesus’ family while they were in Egypt? How can trust in God help you to cope with stressful circumstances?—Matthew 6:33, 34.
Our children’s generation is a video generation. They enjoy watching amateur videos via YouTube, Instagram and other like sites much more than traditional TV that we grew up watching. They also enjoy making videos of t
heir own and are very good at using the variety of powerful yet simple video editing software available today. With this in mind we decided to do a video project for family worship.
The goal was to create a video about a Bible character. We didn’t want to be to rigid on how to do it but instead wanted to encourage our children to be creative and have fun. We outlined that the video should include background abo
ut the person and their family, details about the major event(s) in their life, and what we can learn and/or imitate from their example. We did this over two weeks. Week one we picked the person and began researching information about them. They worked on their videos throughout the week and during our next family worship evening we watched and discussed their final video projects.
The end result was great, as our children created video projects that exceed our expectations. They not only learned more about their Bible character but also learned more about how to do research using the variety of tools provided. They put in a lot of effort and really enjoyed the process. Our daughter created a video about Rahab using various pictures, video clips and a home made video she created using her dolls. Our son created a video trivia game about Noah doing all of the programming and research himself. We were surprised at how well it turned out and how much they got out of the exercise. Attached below for download are the Rahab video and the Noah trivia game (for both Mac and Windows) that our children created. Enjoy!
Here is a great way to combine learning about the modern history of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a hands-on craft. A brother in Pennsylvania is a very talented artist and has created a bunch of “theocratic” crafts that are sold on Etsy.com. Two interesting ones are a model of a sound car and the original Watchtower building at 25 Columbia Heights, in Brooklyn New York. They are both downloadable PDF files that you can then print, cut out, and assemble. They also come with an assembly guide. One thing to note is that these models are very detailed and young ones will definitely require the help of someone older to cut them out and figure out how to assemble them. You can find the downloads of the models for sale on Etsy.com here.UPDATE: These are no longer being made available.
These can be used with family worship when discussing our modern history. One great source for articles is the “From Our Archives” series in recent Watchtowers. The August 2013 (Study Edition) has an article that discussed the use of a sound car. There is a great video about the sign on top of the Brooklyn Bethel building on jw.org called Sign of the Times as well as an article “The Watchtower Sign—A Longtime Brooklyn Landmark“. There are also lots of related information in the Proclaimers book ( Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom).
What do you imagine your home will be like in the paradise? This activity is a simple and fun activity for all ages. All you need is a few sheets of paper and some crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. We created a simple plain sheet of paper with four scriptures in the upper corner:
ISAIAH 65:21-23, PSALM 72:16, ISAIAH 11:6, JOHN 5:28,29.
Each scripture highlights a future blessing in the paradise. We read and discussed each as a family first. Then we each drew a picture illustrating our home in the paradise. Part of the project was to incorporate the various scriptures into our drawing. After we were done, we each took turns explaining our picture and how we illustrated the scriptures in it. You can download a copy of the simple worksheet we used here: My Home In The Paradise worksheet
We know that Goliath was big, really big. The Bible says he was 6 cubits and a span which is almost 9 1/2 feet tall. But how big is that really? To get a perspective we created a life-size poster of Goliath as part of our Family Worship Evening.
We first read the account of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. We divided the bible reading into parts so that each person read their part like when you are doing a play. The parts are: the narrator, Goliath, Jesse, the men of Israel, David, Eliab, Saul and Abner. It is good to have someone who can impart a lot of character and personality into the part of Goliath as he really adds a lot to the story. After the reading, we discussed the story and the lessons we learned that we can apply in our lives and our ministry. Afterwards we decided to find out how big Goliath was compared to ourselves.
I created a PDF file of a scale size image of Goliath that is divided into standard 8.5×11 sheets of paper. I printed these out on to full size shipping labels (sticker paper) so that it would be easy to stick on a large sheet. I then labeled the back of each piece of paper with the location grid number based on the master layout. This is important so you can remember where it goes when you put it together. Each of the pieces of paper print with cut guidelines so you can cut each piece out. Each piece is also printed with a little bit of overlap so that when you place each piece it will slightly overlap the adjoining pieces. We got a large (really really really big) piece of paper (about 8’x12′) and rolled it out on to the floor (we needed a really big space to do it). We had a master layout sheet showing where each piece goes and then we began to stick one piece after another on the giant sheet of paper like a puzzle. Once it was all done, we then hung it upright on a wall with tape. We needed a really tall wall to do this (10′ – 11′). Once on the wall we each took turns standing next to it to see how big Goliath really was. Wow, this guy was huge! You can really appreciate how courageous David was and how strong his faith in Jehovah was to challenge such a giant!
Attached below are PDF files with the master layout and all of the individual sheets. I only have sheets that actually have something printed on it. Pieces that were blank/white I did not print, so you will notice that nothing prints for all of the white pieces in the master layout. We started with one of the center pieces and worked out from there. You don’t have to use sticker paper, but could easily just use glue sticks or even just print and cut the pieces and then lay them out on the floor like a puzzle without any glue.
One of the goals we have explored as a family is learning a foreign language so as to be able to expand our ministry. The website jw.org is a great way to learn about new languages, and the countries and people who use that language.
Each person picked a country with a different language and did research about that country and language. On our family worship evening, each then gave a presentation about what they had learned. The presentations included:
Facts about where the country is located, the culture, unique food and animals, population, the number of publishers there,etc.
One experience from that country. The yearbooks are a great source for this.
A printed page from a publication in that country’s language. By using jw.org you can download and print a page in the desired language.
Using jw.org, go to one of the articles on the site and change the language to that of the your country. Then play the the record audio on the webpage of it being read in that language.
We found a great scale model of the Tabernacle. It is a plastic model kit that is very detailed and takes some skill to assemble. It included a high priest, 3 priests, a jar of manna, Aaron’s budded staff, the ten commandments stone, 3 sheep, 8 stands, an ark of the covenant, 3 lambs, 2 cows, a bread table, the altar of incense, the lamp stand, 2 breads, the altar of burnt offering, and a tree. The Tabernacle is built using posts and several layers of fabric representing the actual coverings used.
We used some flexstone spray paint to paint the base so it looked like the ground. We bought others paints (gold, brown, silver, etc) so we could paint the other pieces as nothing comes painted. The project takes several hours to build so it probably makes sense to build the project over a weekend.
We pull it out every year or so (especially if it is being discussed at a meeting that week) and take the coverings off and look at how it is constructed and all of the various parts that make it up. The May 1, 2010 Watchtower on page 7 has a great picture showing the various parts of the Tabernacle and what each pictured. We read the scriptures sited and try to remember what each part is and what it pictured.
You can find it sold several places online including Amazon.com. The model we bought was made by Vision Video and is called The Tabernacle Making (Model) kit. It is a 1:90 scale model.