Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Years Resolution To Consider...

One of my hopes for each of the families in our church during 2010 is that you will make family worship/devotions a priority in your house. Whether you have no kids, lots of kids, or your kids have moved out, I hope that everyone in your household can get together on a regular basis for a short time of prayer and Bible reading.

This doesn't have to be profound or formal...I'm talking about just spending time together as a family to read a passage, discuss it briefly, and pray together. This simple step can reap great benefits for your family. If we are really supposed to teach and disciple our children (Deut. 6, Eph. 6), it's vital that we take time frequently during our weeks to stop and focus in on that task.

One of my friends recently posted this on Facebook:

Devotionals with your kids are awesome! If you haven't started yet, let me recommend it, lots of growing on both accounts. Been able to hit it solid for a week, and wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything. Sorry I didn't start sooner guys.

If you're wondering about how you might be able to actually go about doing this, listed below are some simple suggestions from Mark Driscoll:

Step 1. Eat dinner with your entire family regularly.
Step 2. Mom and Dad sit next to one another to lead the family discussion.
Step 3. Open the meal by asking if there is anyone or anything to pray for.
Step 4. Someone opens in prayer and covers any requests. This task should be rotated among family members so that different people take turns learning to pray aloud.
Step 5. Start eating and discuss how everyone’s day went.
Step 6. Have a Bible in front of the parents in a translation that is age-appropriate for the kids’ reading level. Have someone (parent or child) open the Bible, and assign a portion to read aloud while everyone is eating and listening.
Step 7. Parents should note key words and themes in the passage and explain them to the kids on an age-appropriate level.
Step 8.
Ask questions about the passage. You may want to begin with having your children summarize what was read—retelling the story or passage outline. Then, ask the following questions: What does this passage teach us about God? What does it say about us or about how God sees us? What does it teach us about our relationships with others?
Step 9. Let the conversation happen naturally, listen carefully to the kids, let them answer the questions, and fill in whatever they miss or lovingly and gently correct whatever they get wrong so as to help them.
Step 10. If the Scriptures convict you of sin, repent as you need to your family, and share appropriately honest parts of your life story so the kids can see Jesus’ work in your life and your need for him too. This demonstrates gospel humility to them.
Step 11. At the end of dinner, ask the kids if they have any questions for you.
Step 12. If you miss a night, or if conversation gets off track, or if your family occasionally just wants to talk about something else, don’t stress—it’s inevitable.

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