Book Review: Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney

After reading the introduction of Family Worship by Donald Whitney on an electronic copy that was provided by the publisher, I bought an actual paper copy of it for my library.

This book is a great primer for parents, especially dads, about the necessity and practice of family worship. The book is short, biblical, practical, and encouraging. Whitney states the purpose of the book early and often, "God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families” (p. 14).

Why this Book is Necesary

God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families.
— Don Whitney

Making family worship a regular practice can easily discourage parents. It's much like pastors who get discouraged by their congregations. Whitney is great at reminding parents that it's never too late or too early to start or re-start a family worship rhythm. Kids get extra squirmy and what you're teaching seems to go in one ear and out the other. I’ve been frustrated with what I perceive to be a lack of results. In those moments, I'm focusing on my kid’s responses instead of simply being faithful and obedient to what God has called me to do; allowing God to transform their hearts.

Who needs this book?

Parents need this book, so do pastors. Parents need to be encouraged and to see the simplicity of what family worship is without over-thinking it and over-complicating it. Pastors need this book as a resource to equip new parents (and newly engaged couples for that matter). It will help to show them how simple family worship can be.

Best quotes

“We can summarize the views of our Christian heroes across the centuries with a sentence from Jonathan Edwards: ‘Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church.’” (p. 42-43).

“It’s simple: just read, pray, and sing. You can do that!” (p. 51).

“We need to accept the fact that in this sinful world, challenges to family worship arise regularly in every home. The blessings of family worship are too dangerous for Satan to let pass unopposed. God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families. And for that reason start today” (p. 57).

“Let us be clear: faithful involvement in family worship is not the gospel.”


Does this book say something new and revolutionary that will totally change the way you think about family worship? No, and I’d be suspicious if it did. What is does is gently remind and encourage parents of their responsibility to be the primary faith trainers in the lives of their children. That’s what makes it such an invaluable resource.

I received a free e-copy of this book for the purpose of review from the publisher. Quotes taken from Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney ©2016 published by Crossway