Ideas for Family Worship and Personal Study
AT THE beginning of 2009, congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide adjusted their meeting schedule. The two midweek meetings were combined, and all were encouraged to use the free evening for family worship or personal study. Have you been taking advantage of the new arrangement? Are you benefiting fully from it?
Some have wondered what material they should select for consideration during family worship. It is not the intention of the Governing Body to establish one format for all families. Since circumstances vary, it is appropriate for each family head or individual to evaluate how this weekly occasion can be used in the best way.
Some have been preparing for congregation meetings, but family worship need not be limited to that. Others have been reading, discussing, and even dramatizing Scriptural information, especially for the benefit of younger children. It may not always be necessary or even desirable to use a question-and-answer method, as is done at formal meetings. A relaxed atmosphere is often more conducive to a stimulating discussion and the exchange of ideas. Such an atmosphere promotes creative thinking, which can make the occasion memorable and enjoyable for all.
One father of three children writes: “What we have been doing is mostly based on the Bible reading. We each read the chapters ahead of time, the children pick some aspect for research, and then they present their findings. Michael [age seven] will often draw a picture or write a paragraph. David and Kaitlyn [ages 13 and 15] might write about a Bible account from the point of view of an observer. For example, when we were reading about Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh’s baker and his cupbearer, Kaitlyn wrote a composition from the standpoint of a prisoner watching the scene unfold.”—Gen., chap. 40.
Naturally, situations differ. What works for one individual or family may not work for another. The accompanying box presents a number of ideas that may be used during your periods of family worship or personal study. Very likely, you can think of many others.
[Box/Picture on pages 6, 7]
For families with teens:
• Read and discuss Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work.
• Practice “What if . . . ?” situations. (See The Watchtower of May 15, 1996, page 14, paragraphs 17-18.)
• Talk about long-term and short-term goals.
• From time to time, watch and discuss a Bible-based video.
• Consider the Watchtower feature “For Young People.”
For couples with no children:
• Discuss chapters 1, 3, 11-16 of the book The Secret of Family Happiness.
• Share the results of research on points from Bible reading.
• Prepare for the Congregation Bible Study or the Watchtower Study.
• Discuss ways to expand your ministry as a couple.
For single brothers and sisters or for those in religiously divided households:
• Study new publications received at district conventions.
• Read current and past Yearbooks.
• Do research on questions common in your local territory.
• Prepare presentations for the field ministry.
For families with young children:
• Dramatize Bible scenes.
• Play memory games, such as those on pages 30 and 31 of Awake!
• Occasionally, do something imaginative. (See “Studying the Bible—In the Zoo!” in Awake! of March 8, 1996, pages 16-19.)
• Consider the Watchtower feature “Teach Your Children.”