Practical Ideas for Family Discipleship
Growing up, I didn’t quite understand the role of the church in my spiritual development. Like many, I thought the church existed to teach me everything I need to know about God, and there was a major disconnect between the church and home. The Bible makes our role clear as Christian parents, but tradition has us often naturally reverting back to letting spiritual formation of our children be the job of “church leaders”. However, when we look more closely at scripture, we see that as a parent, we are the primary disciple-makers of our children. Take a look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and see the instructions the Lord gives to parents. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about some practical tools you can use for what we call “family discipleship”.
Share your testimony and your story often with your kids. Share about how he has rescued you from darkness and brought you into the light. Share what God is currently doing in your life and teaching you. Share how is he working in and through you right now.
Choose a time of day that works best for your family to devote time to family worship. If you are a planner, write it into your calendar! Without intentionality, it will not happen. This could be mornings, dinner time, or before bed. Choose a time that will be realistic for the rhythm and flow of your family and your week.
One of our goals of Providence Kids is to partner with parents in the task of raising disciples up in their home. We have a weekly email that provides tips, resources, and ideas with the goal of giving you the tools you need to take ownership of the discipleship of your child. We also provide family worship resources through the Providence App. Take advantage of these resources that have been created for you to use for this purpose.
SING, READ, PRAY
These three things are a simple and easy way to lead your family in worship. Wives, support your husband as they lead the family in these three areas. When planning for family worship, aim your content at your youngest child. What will be engaging for them you can build off in discussion with your older kids. So whether that is using a children’s story Bible, a regular Bible, theology book for kids, or another resource, use this rhythm in your home to teach your children the truth of God’s word.
If you have a wide age range of kids, let your older kids who confess to know Jesus take ownership and help disciple the younger kids. They will take joy and pride in being able to use their relationship with their siblings and the gifts God has given them to teach them about God, and oftentimes they can relay a message to their younger siblings better than we ever could!
In my house, we have a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old, and a 9-year-old (and all boys at that!). One resource we are loving are the songs from the New City Catechism. These songs are simple truths that are easy to memorize and understand. What I love about the New City Catechism is that it takes these big, biblical truths and simplifies them in such a way that the youngest minds can understand. I’m watching my children get the truth about God and His word etched on their minds and hearts by learning these songs. Our family worship time currently looks something like this:
Sing: We choose a song from the New City Catechism to sing together.
Read: We read the scripture provided that goes along with that truth and talk about the meaning.
Pray: We pray and ask God to help us learn and live out that truth.
It can really be that simple! The New City Catechism is what is working for us in this current season, but feel free to browse these resources and choose something that may be appropriate for your family. Here are few others that we love:
Any of the Truth 78 Series (God’s Word, God’s Promise, God’s Names, etc.)
Find more resources from Providence Kids and Providence Students on our Family Resources page.