The new year has begun and will pass by at an astonishing rate. Isn’t that what we say at the end of each year, "It went so fast!" Time with you children at home is short. Determine to make the most of each year by making spiritual goals as a family. Here are a few ideas to get you going!
Encourage reading. There are many good books for children, but resolve to build your library of books that will aid children in their spiritual growth. Here are some great ones I recommend:
- The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
- The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
- Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones
- Everything a Child Should Know about God by Kenneth N. Taylor
Plan for Faith Talks. Whether you call them family devotions or faith talks or just family time, don’t neglect regularly meeting together for a brief and simple time of scripture reading, prayer and singing. You can include other elements, but keeping it simple makes it easier to keep it consistent. Pastor Josh has written a very helpful booklet entitled, A Guide to Family Worship. In it he makes several suggestions and offers resources to help families.
Use Take Home-Papers. Our Sunday School curriculum, Children Desiring God, has take-home papers that go home with your children each week. Don’t let these end up in the trash! They are an excellent way for you to help your child take hold of what they are learning on Sundays. Make a place to keep them together and make a plan to use them!
Commit to Sunday Morning. Parents grieve when their teenager doesn’t want to go church because they don’t have any friends there. Since most of the children at church don’t attend the same schools, they only have about an hour and a half a week during Sunday School to build friendships to carry them through youth group. If you’re not already, be sure to make church attendance a priority. Children will not only have a better chance of building relationships (for now and the future) but they will get much more out of the morning as the lessons and activities often build on one another.
Increase family prayer. Without adding anything more to your to-do list, can you take already existing situations that come up during the week and use them as opportunities to pray with your children? Help them develop the habit of praying without ceasing by leading them in prayer before school, when they are worried about something, when you know someone who is sick or when good things are happening for them. Model prayer for them and also encourage them to pray aloud with you.
Memorize Scripture together. Make a goal to memorize a verse or two a month this year. Find creative ways to review using mealtimes, drive times and bedtimes to your advantage! Put the verse to a familiar song to make it easier to remember.
Plan to Fail. If you’re like me, failing to keep resolutions often leads to abandoning them altogether. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t always hit the mark, and resolve to hit the restart button when that happens. Remember, time with your children is very short, even though it may not seem like it. God has entrusted them to you so redeem the time you have. May God richly bless your good plans in 2016!
Children's Ministries Director