by Janel Greig, SCS Parent & Elementary Office Assistant
When COVID came to town, I had big plans to embrace the “downtime” and reset my in-home discipleship game. However, we’ve simply traded one chaos for another and our new “normal” includes juggling Zoom meetings, facilitating remote learning, working from home – all while navigating financial challenges and health concerns. My “big plans” quickly dissolved.
As parents, we are called to disciple our children by pointing them to Jesus and teaching them to live and love like Him. But, what does that look like during this season of staying home and being together nonstop? Here are a few ideas and resources to help get you started.
Study the Bible with Your Kids
Most of us are actually sitting down to dinner with our kids now, and this presents the perfect opportunity for a Bible study. When you study the Bible with your kids, incorporate questions such as, “Who wrote this Book?”, “Who were they writing to?”, “Why were they writing it?”, “What does this verse mean in the context of the verses before and after it?”, and “How does this apply to my own life?”. Through God’s Word, we gain an understanding of His promises and commands for our lives. Depending on your preferred method and the ages of your kids, there are many options from Bible story books to study Bibles. Our family loves Marty Machowski’s Long Story Short: Ten Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God, Old Story New and Wise Up: Ten-Minute Family Devotions in Proverbs as tools for our family Bible study time.
Incorporate Devotions as a Bedtime Routine
Evenings have been reclaimed with no activities to be rushing to and from. This is a great opportunity to establish a bedtime routine that includes devotions. A devotional that focuses on teaching God’s attributes and who He is allows our kids to grow in knowing Him, and understanding why they can trust Him, especially during this time. The Attributes of God for Kids by Lydia White, I AM by Diane Stortz or Louis Giglio’s Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids about God and Science are wonderful options.
Dig Deeper with Supplemental Material
Before the pandemic, “Theology Thursday” was a part of our family’s weekly commute to school. We enjoyed hot cocoa and marshmallows in the car ride while we talked about God. At the request of my kids, “Theology Thursday” has reemerged with our couch as the setting for covering material that encourages deeper faith conversations. Natasha Crain’s newest book Talking With Your Kids About Jesus is our current go-to. Short chapters with conversation starters at the end of each chapter make it user friendly and the content is easily tailored for age and comprehension level.
All-Day Long Discipleship
There are opportunities all day long where we can easily draw God into the conversation and remind our kids of biblical truths.
- Family walks: As you venture outside to get some freedom, it’s a wonderful opportunity to discuss God’s creation and the element of design we see in nature.
- Media (TV, movies, music, social media): As you engage in any of these activities with your family, ask your kids questions such as “What does God’s Word say about that?” and “Is that consistent with who God is?” Discuss the different worldviews present and how they compare with a Christian worldview.
- Current Events: Use this opportunity to discuss events through a Christian lens and remind your kids that our eternal hope is in Christ and His promises.
- Prayer: God wants to hear our requests and it is important to talk to our kids about the purpose of prayer and praying together.
- Live out your faith: Our kids watch our actions and the way we respond to real-life situations. Be an example and let your responses to life experiences testify to your kids the reality of the words coming from your mouth.
We have some wonderful free resources at our fingertips to support us in at-home discipleship. Here are just a few:
- The Bible Project offers Bible studies, courses, engaging videos, and other resources for all ages in a variety of languages.
- RightNow Media is a comprehensive video streaming service that offers on-demand biblical content including curriculum, studies and children’s resources. Click the link to access your account, free for all SCS families.
- Summit Ministries has videos to watch, podcasts to listen to, articles to read, and many resources for all ages.
I encourage you to embrace this season of being at home and use it as an opportunity to establish your in-home discipleship game. The reality is, the years are short in which we have an opportunity to guide our kids in growing in the knowledge of God. This season passes quickly (as we pray the COVID season will also) and thus requires intentionality. Lead your children in becoming disciples of Jesus. It’s a task of eternal importance.