Devotions

Devotions: In Community

Spending regular time with God can be challenging for busy families. The key for ministry leaders is to help them discover practices that work in their family context.

Equipping Parents

  • Kick off the education year with a family event to introduce parents and caregivers to children’s ministry program leaders, to preview what their kids will be learning, and to talk about the at-home pieces they’ll be receiving and why they are important. Get inspired with the ideas found in this event that CRC churches can use to introduce families to the Dwell curriculum resources for children and families.

  • Offer a short show-and-tell time, during which you introduce families to a variety of devotions and family faith formation practices (see our list of recommendations in Devotions: At Home below), and help them select something that will work best in their family context. Consider hosting this event when families are already at church, and invite families to bring their own favorite resources to show and tell too! Get ideas from this event that churches use to introduce people to the God’s Big Story cards devotional box.

  • Wrap up the Sunday school year by providing families with a beach pail filled with fun summer faith formation resources as outlined in this blog post from Faith Formation Ministries.

  • Encourage families to do some out of the (toy) box thinking about devotions by hosting an intergenerational event involving Bible stories and Legos.

  • Get inspired by the ways in which this church provides instruction to parents, grandparents, and children—and then has those participants teach what they’ve learned to the rest of the faith community during worship.

  • Get some talking points to share with families in this article on Family Daily Living Faith Practices.

  • Take-Homes That Make a Difference at Home is a post filled with practical tips to ensure that these valuable faith formation tools gets used at home.

  • Incorporate the celebration of milestones in the life of a child with the teaching of a spiritual practice to their parents. For example, bless new parents with a baby Bible at baptism; provide a session on praying with kids when their child begins school, offer a session for parents on reading the Bible with their children prior to the age your church gifts children with a Bible of their own; and dialog with parents about how to respond when their children have doubts at the time they enter middle school. 

  • Get families interested in the faith formation opportunities that family worship provides by sharing these posts: How My Awesome Kids Talked Us into Worshipping in the Living Room, Family Worship: Something to Get Excited About, and the encouraging How to Cultivate Family Worship Time.

  • We love this one-page resource for creating a Sacred Space at Home that the Presbyterian Church of Sweet Hollow provides for its families.

  • Family Fire features helpful posts on family devotional time. Select those that will appeal to the families in your context and share them over time. One of our favorites: Christian Parenting: Using Daily Devotions to Nurture Faith.

  • The post Walking with Parents to Engage Students in the Bible contains six steps for partnering with parents on exploring Scripture with kids.

Church Practices

Devotions: At Home

The experiences that the parents in your congregation have had around family devotions may be quite varied. Some may feel unsure about how to start; others may just need some excellent resources. Check out the list of recommended devotions below.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Elementary-Age Children

  • Everyday Family Faith is a pocket-sized resource for parents who want to weave faith into everyday family life in simple, natural ways. For each day of the week it provides fun, do-able ideas and activities for exploring small portions of Scripture, praying together, talking about God together, and living out faith.

  • You’re Invited, a five-session devotional guide on the Lord’s Supper.

  • Illustrated Children’s Ministry resources for families include coloring pages, simple and practical devotions, and fun follow-up activities.

  • The What's In The Bible? videos from VeggieTales® creator Phil Vischer are designed to provide  families with a foundational knowledge of the Bible. Parent discussion guides are available.

  • Geared for children ages 6-12, Kids Korner uses audio drama and web resources to entertain children while developing their interest in the Bible and nurturing their faith in Jesus.

  • For more recommendations, see the Bible Storybooks and Picture Books  sections of this toolkit.

Preteens and Teens

  • Dive Devotions for young teens are designed to help teenagers grow in faith, connect with God's people, and live out God's story for their lives.

Mixed Ages

  • Everyday Family Faith is a pocket-sized resource for parents who want to weave faith into everyday family life in simple, natural ways. For each day of the week it provides fun, do-able ideas and activities for exploring small portions of Scripture, praying together, talking about God together, and living out faith.

  • God’s Big Story cards provides families with a fun, easy-to-use interactive method for daily devotions. Faith5 (Faith Acts in the Home) is a simple, easy-to-implement faith practice that can be incorporated into a bedtime routine for five to fifteen minutes a night.

  • Use this simple handout to teach families the simple, faith-forming practice of the daily examen.

  • Teach Us to Pray: Scripture-Centered Family Worship through the Year is a daily prayer book that guides families in both listening to and speaking to God.

  • Every Moment Holy is a book of liturgies for daily life. Trudy Ash, a mom of four children, has been pleasantly surprised by how using this book with her family is forming her own faith. Read her story here.

  • Homegrown Faith and Justice is a great resource for parents who want to grow their child’s capacity to love God and neighbor. For ages 3-18.

  • Psalms for Families: Devotions for All Ages includes 44 family-friendly devotionals along with helpful notes for adults.

  • Engaging the Bible Together as a Family is free download of practical ideas for parents, foster parents, and grandparents to use with the kids in their lives.

ⓒ 2018, Faith Formation Ministries, from the Family Faith Formation Toolkit (crcna.org/FaithFormation/toolkits)