Let me confess something... Family devotions really intimidate me. This really bugs me, because I'm a pastor. I have spoken in front of a thousand plus people many times. I have led small groups of all different ages. I lead seminars and do coaching conversations, but to lead my family in a Bible is so much scarier.
First, my wife is sitting there, and I can't pretend to be super holy in front of her. My wife knows me better than anyone else. There is no hiding behind my pastoral position here. She only sees me as her husband.
Second, I'm not good at communicating to little children. I prefer to speak to teenagers and adults. I'm afraid they won't understand. I'm afraid I will fail to communicate well.
Third, I'm so busy in the morning. I struggle to devote time to studying the Bible with my children. I want to feed them, clothe them, kiss them, and drop them off at school.
Fourth, I had no idea where to start! What is good curriculum? Where is the curriculum? Is the curriculum free, because I'm on a budget?
Dads, maybe you are like me, and you want to be the spiritual leader of your family, but you are really intimidated and don't know where to start. I recently came across a great resource from my friend Bill Winton, middle school pastor at Christian Family Chapel in Jax, FL. I want to pass it along.
[Download the Cheat Sheet Below]
- READ. Choose a Book of the Bible, and work your way through it section by section. Look for major thought sections, and break it up there. If it's a story, look for natural story breaks.
- RESEARCH. Follow ABC for your daily section as a family. Create A Brief Summary of what you read (10 words or less). Share what you think is the Best Verse according to 10 words. Share how God is Challenging you.
- RESPOND. Share your responses with each other. Do this in conversation. You can write it down, but this should feel like organic family time. You are being intentional not robotic.
- ROUTINE. Find a time that can become part of your daily routine. Be persistent until consistent. Also, your kids will keep you accountable...trust me here! Ours is the breakfast table.
I'm trying this new method out at home. I hope this at least gives you a starting point for leading your family in devotions.
Parents of Preschoolers: I would suggest using the Read to Me Bible! This great resource will help you better communicate with your child. You can still use this method, and now it is more accessible!
Download the cheat sheet here!