5 Ways Church Leaders Can Help Parents Plan Family Devotions
Studies have shown that children who grow up in a home where the family gathers to study Scripture, pray and talk about their faith are more likely to become committed followers of Christ. Church leaders can help parents by helping them plan family devotions. There are some struggles for planning these devotionals for families, and there are also significant benefits. We want to give you some ideas on what you can do during family devotionals and links to resources that will help make this process easier for those looking for guidance. So here are 5 ways church leaders can help parents plan family devotions.
1. Create a routine.
Like any other part of your family’s life, it is essential to establish a routine for doing devotions. Church leaders can teach parents to pick a time and stick with it. That way, everyone knows when they will be gathered together as a family in prayer and studying Scripture. This is a great place to start for those looking for help planning their family devotions.
One of the struggles that many parents face when it comes to doing this is establishing a routine and knowing what time works best without having any previous experience with this type of thing. It can be not easy, but if you set some helpful routine where everyone knows when they will spend time as an entire family together, then it becomes much easier moving forward.
You can remind parents that kids tend to be more attentive during certain hours than others, so experimenting with different times could also serve well! If you know there has been no tradition set up yet, or none exists currently, then you might suggest that they try doing it around bedtime. Many times, kids and teens are happy to go to bed a little later, so they are more receptive to doing anything that gives them more time before going to bed.
2. Find a Family Devotional that fits your family.
There are many resources available on the internet, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t find something that matches your family’s needs. There is always more than one option for a particular situation! Some great places to look include online Bible studies built around specific topics like “How To Pray” and “What Is The Gospel?”
Ministry to Parents created a whole series for just this purpose! The Family Bible Series helps families read the Bible together. Each journal page corresponds with one chapter and includes two kid-friendly prompts such as History Tidbits and Fun Facts for conversation starters. In addition, the dedicated space Favorite Words, This Story Inspired Me, and more gives families a place to process thoughts and feelings by writing or drawing while encouraging independent reading for teens.
To learn more about the Family Bible Series, you can go to https://ministry-to-parents.com/collections/family-bible-series.
Here are other resources you can consider that will help you:
- The Jesus Storybook Bible (Sally Lloyd-Jones) – https://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/books/jesus-storybook-bible/
- Family Bible Series (Ministry to Parents) – https://ministry-to-parents.com/collections/family-bible-series
- Jesus Calling (Sarah Young)- https://www.jesuscalling.com/
- YouVersion App (free and available for all devices, including iPhones!)
- The Visual Bible: Matthew- https://www.amazon.com/Schoonhoven-Marchiano-Charlton-Jonathan-OShuaghnessy/dp/0967439728
- The Chosen: www.thechosen.tv/app
- Yancy- Little Praise Party- https://yancyministries.com/storefront/
- Seeds Family Worship- https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/store/music/
These are just a few of many family devotion resources that the parents in your church can choose. As a church leader, you can keep a running list of your favorite resources to share with parents regularly through email, text, or a handout.
3. Start with the Bible reading plan from the devotional you use.
Church leaders can help with a big struggle that parents face while planning a family devotion, deciding what part of Scripture to read together. One way leaders can help parents is by assisting them in choosing a Bible reading plan for their family.
It’s simple, but it is mighty when you help them get past their brain freeze on what to read. But, then, it’s less about what to read and more about just getting started!
4. Include prayer and discussion time for topics relevant to your family’s life.
You want to resist teaching parents to follow a specific formula and guide them to find a groove with family devotions that fits their unique family. Most family devotions include Bible reading, but they also can consist of prayer and discussion.
When it comes to helping parents pray with their family, be mindful that some parents might fear leading their family in prayer. As a church leader, you can keep it simple and teach them to use Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus used this prayer to teach the disciples how to pray, so it might be helpful for church leaders to teach parents how to pray with their families.
5. Make it fun!
Don’t forget to remind families to have fun during their family devotions. It doesn’t have to be formal or too serious. The time can include games and fun activities.
This is an excellent way church leaders can help parents plan family devotions. If there is anything we know how to do, it’s fun with games and activities.
Consider sharing some of your favorite games with parents that they could implement into their family devotions to help break the ice and get everyone ready for their time together.
If you are struggling with game ideas, Ministry to Parents has a resource for that as well! You can check out the “Big Book of Family Ministry Games.” You can find it by going to https://ministry-to-parents.com/collections/products/products/big-book-of-family-ministry-games.
This game pack includes everything you need to coordinate 60 games with your students AND their families. They are:
- 20 family ministry games for parent and student events
- 20 games to play with students
- 20 games for families to play at home
When you help parents create fun at home as part of their family devotions, you help them make memories together that they will never forget!
Church leaders, we hope that you have found some helpful ideas for how to help families plan family devotions in reading this blog. We know it can be difficult and time-consuming, but the benefits of having a consistent spiritual routine at home are worth it!
If you’d like to see more resources that might equip you to help parents plan family devotions, you can go to https://ministry-to-parents.com/
Jeremy Lee is the founder of Ministry to Parents, co-author of Pass It On and has more than twenty-four years of ministry experience. He is passionate about helping ministers create strategic plans for connecting with the parents in their church. He lives outside Nashville, Tn with his wife Elisabeth and two sons. You can contact Jeremy at www.ministrytoparents.com.
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