COVID-19 turned our spring upside down and forced us to create new ways to offer discipleship training to our families. Hopefully, parents have embraced the call to disciple their children at home. As summer arrives and teachers no longer send school work home, parents may have extra time for discipleship. What are some ways you can encourage your parents to continue the practices they may have started this spring?
There has been a resurgence in bike riding and family walks as extracurricular activities have been shut down. Time has slowed with limited places to go. As your family “walks along the road” (Deuteronomy 6:7) consider these conversation starters:
- What is your favorite vacation, grandparent memory, sport, Bible story or song, etc.?
- If you could trade places with another person, who would it be and why?
- If you could spend time with a historical person, who would it be?
- If you could instantly go anyplace right now, where would it be?
- What is your favorite theme park ride?
- What is the best thing I do for you or could do for you?
- What is your favorite thing God created?
- What is the funniest thing God created?
- If you could rename any animal, what name would it be?
We have been reminded in a new way that there are senior adults all around us. Opportunities for service to this generation are limitless. Consider spending time recording an interview with senior adults who are part of your family. This will become a priceless treasure in time to come. Honoring seniors with respect and encouragement is biblical and needs to be encouraged and modeled by you.
Food banks are struggling to meet the volume of need during this season and the need will not end after people return to work. Collecting food is a great service project for children and teens during the summer months. Add a food drive to your daily walk to create a winning combination of service to your community.
LifeWay Research discovered the number one reason young adults don’t walk away from the church or their faith is Scripture reading as a child and teen. These findings were summarized in a book titled Nothing Less by Jana Magruder, which examines the 10 greatest influencers of spiritual health of children.
Encourage your children to read Scripture or provide biblically based daily devotionals. Model this behavior by your own spiritual disciplines. Ask questions about what they have learned or discovered in their own Scripture reading to provide accountability and to build a biblical worldview. Help them think critically by asking thoughtful questions and engaging in faith conversations.
A framework for Bible study with your children is:
- Is this Scripture in the Old Testament or the New Testament?
- Where does this story take place?
- Who are the main characters in the story and what are they doing?
- Why do you think this story is in the Bible?
- What can I learn about being a disciple in this story?
Choose a family verse and have fun memorizing it. See who can learn the verse first. Play hopscotch using the words in the boxes, or play the basketball game “Horse” using the words of the verse. Use window paint markers to write the verse on your windows or mirrors. Intentionally use and apply the verse to real life situations when possible.
Listen to Christian music
Often families load themselves into their car and everyone plugs into their own “song.” What would happen if everyone listened to and sang along to the same song? Conversation about the lyrics can be a great way to disciple your children without preaching.
Whatever you do to continue developing the habits begun during this spring of social distancing and staying at home will bear fruit. Helping parents establish and maintain new rhythms of discipleship at home will be one of the best ministry offerings you can lead.