Ideas for Enhancing In-Home Devotions
Maybe your family devotions need a few adjustments to restore excitement and growth. Maybe your kids openly groan when you tell them it’s time to study the Bible. Or maybe your family has never even made devotions a part of your schedule but you want that to change.
No matter where your family is right now, here are some tips to help you move everyone in the right direction, right away.
If you want to increase the buy-in your kids have toward your family devotion, let them make a few of the decisions. For instance, they could be given the responsibility of picking a topic or book from the Bible to study. They could also choose something out of the norm that surprisingly opens meaningful discussion about scriptural truth. Of course, your kids might also want to weigh in on when family devotions take place. Everybody – including your kid – likes to have input in decisions that impact them.
Yeah, I know what life looks like for the average American family. But I’ve also seen the impact intentional devotions can have on kids. You don’t have to do Gregorian chants at 5am every day followed by hours of reading from ancient theologians. Start simple. Pick two nights each week you can set aside 20 minutes to talk about God, life, and faith (and increase your frequency from there). You can also make it easy on yourselves by having family devotions during dinner. Or use the car ride to school each morning as a great time to have spiritual conversations. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re consistent. That’s the key!
So you haven’t gone to seminary. You can’t translate the original Greek. And you don’t know the difference between sanctification and soteriology. None of that matters – at all! – if you have engaging resources to use during your times of family devotion. Fortunately, The Source for Parents (and even The Source for Youth Ministry) offers you tons of great FREE tools to help you make the most of your time together.
- MUSIC DISCUSSIONS – This webpage has dozens and dozens of top-ranked songs your kids already know…with a related Bible study attached to it!
- NETFLIX DISCUSSIONS – This webpage uses shows currently available on Netflix to jumpstart biblical conversations.
- YOUTUBE DISCUSSIONS – This page offers entire Bible studies built around viral videos from several online sites.
I strongly suggest taking a few moments to peruse those resources. Pick out a few you’d like to try and use them in the coming week. Not only will your kids love them, but it’ll bolster your confidence in teaching God’s Word because we help you at every step.
The Greenhouse of Faith
The very first “group” God put us in was the family. Families predate the Boy Scouts, study groups, travel ball clubs…and even the church. While a family has many purposes, one of the most crucial is the development of our kids’ faith. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God’s Word says:
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This passage makes it crystal clear that our responsibility as parents is to help our kids develop a life-changing faith for themselves. God even outlines a few strategies to help us accomplish the crucial task. I can’t promise you it will be easy, but I can promise you it will be worth it. Pick a time, pick a resource, and pick your kids’ brains about their faith.
FUN BIBLICAL RESOURCES THAT ACTUALLY ENGAGE MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION
The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices: The guide that Focus on Family’s President Jim Daly just interviewed author Jonathan McKee about—helping teens think about wise posting in an insecure world.
Christianity—It’s Like This: It’s basically Christianity for Dummies. A fantastic look at who is God, Jesus, the Bible, The Holy Spirit, Heaven and Hell… etc.
The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers: A fictional story- divided into bite sized chapters with discussion questions—of three teenagers surviving in a post apocalyptic world and the question they keep finding themselves asking is, “What is right?”
The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket: An Amazon Best Seller from Jonathan McKee challenging young men to grow into Godly men.
David R. Smith
David R. Smith is a 15-year youth ministry veteran who helps youth workers and parents through his writing, training, and speaking. David specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. He co-authored his first book this year, Ministry By Teenagers. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.