Family Devotional Ideas that Church Leaders Can Share with Parents
As a church leader, you are in the perfect position to help parents with their parenting. You have access to resources that can guide them through complex challenges and provide guidance for talking to their kids about tough topics. This week we will be sharing some ideas of family devotional ideas that church leaders can share with parents.
Church leaders are often asked by parents what they should do when it comes time for bedtime prayers or how they should teach their children about God at home. This blog post will explore some devotional ideas that church leaders can use as conversation starters with these families to offer wisdom and guidance on those matters.
I hope you enjoy these ideas and find them helpful in your ministry!
1. Start with a prayer.
At the beginning of their family devotional, before parents start to read through their daily Bible verses or Scripture, they can begin by praying.
The prayer doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just a simple conversational tone will help the kids in the family to understand that prayer is not a performance but a way to connect with God. One good idea is for parents to pray for each child individually and uniquely, so they can begin to understand that God cares for each of them. This can be asking the Lord to give them wisdom in approaching their daily life, strength during difficult times, or even just praying for His presence and peace throughout their week. In addition, parents can pray for their family’s safety and protection.
As a church leader, you can not only give parents tips on how to pray; you can also share with them a free resource offered from Ministry To Parents called “A Beginner’s Guide to Praying For Your Family.” You can download it here.
2. Read through Scripture together as a family.
One of the best ways to help parents understand how to talk about God with their children is by allowing them to read through the Bible as a family. If they don’t know where to start with this new routine, consider having parents read one Scripture verse each night before bed. This will help them to practice hearing God’s word and reflecting on it at home.
It can be intimidating for parents to think about leading their family in a devotion. It might be tempting for them to look at you as the church leader and say, “That’s your job!”
That’s why it’s strategic for you to teach parents to begin by simply reading the Bible out loud with their family. This isn’t scary for most parents and has a ton of benefits for spiritual development.
Hearing God’s word will help parents know how to teach it to their kids. It seems simple, but just reading it aloud has power and frees God to work in the hearts of the families in your church. Reading Scripture together helps the family learn from one another and build community as you discuss it together. Parents and kids also become familiar with key passages they can use as resources in conversations. The kids get excited when they see their parents reading. This excites them about reading too.
3. Discuss what you learned from the passage.
Once a family gets comfortable reading Scripture together, then it will be time to help them lead their family in discussing what they’ve learned. This creates faith-based conversations at home, which are essential for family discipleship.
One way to do this is by having family members share one thing they learned from the passage. This will help them see that God speaks through what we read. Another way to do this is to ask family members how God inspired them through the passage. For example, you may ask, “So what does God want us to know about him by reading this?” Another question parents can ask is, “What was one thing about this passage that stood out to you?” This pushes the family into thinking about what they have read and will guide them in using it as a resource for spiritual conversations at home.
4. Share your testimony and how it relates to the passage read.
Another way church leaders can prepare parents to lead a family devotional is to teach them the power of their testimony. A “testimony” is a specific story from the parent’s lives where they experienced the activity of God. This helps kids see what God did in their parent’s life which will further develop their faith. In addition to this, sharing your testimony helps other family members connect with you and identify with your spiritual relationship with God. This will help everyone in the family grow closer.
Once you help parents lead their family in a few weeks of simple readings, they will begin to become more comfortable sharing Scripture, discussing what they’ve learned, and building off each other’s testimony.
5. Consider giving each family member a journal to write down their thoughts about what they learned.
This may seem simple, but a journal can be a powerful tool for family discipleship. The kids will love being able to write down their thoughts on the readings, and it will help them see the relevance in what they’ve read. They can store this journal somewhere accessible so that family members can quickly write in it throughout the week. As the family discusses what they’ve learned, parents can help them reflect on their journal entries. This will help family members connect reading to doing, which is a vital aspect of spiritual growth.
It helps to emphasize that parents don’t feel overwhelmed by leading a devotional with their family. The time together doesn’t have to be perfect or detailed and the goal is to start a tradition and create an environment where God can work in the lives of the family. Once you lead parents in this effort, they will see that it takes little time and will get more comfortable doing it regularly.
As a ministry leader, you likely spend much of your time organizing activities and projects for other people, so I hope this post gives you a few ideas on how to help parents with family devotional ideas.
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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