We are a family of tinkerers, especially when it comes to our habits around family worship and Bible study.
Sometimes we’re super-diligent with family devotions. But there are times when we do practically nothing together in this area. I’ll admit, I’m to blame for it. We used to use a really great book, but it was too much for our kids. Too advanced and took too long to finish. So we had to throw in the towel. For a long time, we didn’t have anything specific. We’d talk about what we learned in church, but that’s about it.
I’m trying to change that, but it’s not easy. There are some difficulties we just have to deal with:
- My schedule can be a bit erratic as I travel a lot more now than I ever did previously
- One of our kids easily becomes bored by repetition
- The kids do get Bible study and theological training during their school day (yay!)
Finding material that works for an almost 10-year-old and a nearly five-year-old isn’t the easiest thing in the world, either.
So, yeah, it’s challenging. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. In December, we did all 25 readings from The Expected One, and it was wonderful. The kids enjoyed it, and our youngest wanted to start again the next day. We’ve added the New City Catechism1 to the kids’ curriculum, and it was cool to hear each of them answer the question, “What is our only hope in life and death?” with “That we are not our own but belong to God” (even if one child was muttering it, due to her having done it a whole bunch of times already this week). But we still have to find a solution for what we’re going to do as a family. So here are two options we’re considering:
- The Gospel Project. My colleague, Brian, has written a helpful article on how to use our curriculum in the family worship context. The idea here is to deepen the conversation that would have started on Sunday during kids ministry, rather than doing something completely unrelated. We’ve done this in the past and it’s been very enjoyable so we might go back to it soon.
- Big Beliefs! We’re also looking at a book by David Helm called Big Beliefs, which walks through a series of 33 lessons about core doctrines of the Christian faith. This could be a lot of fun because it’s very nicely structured and the content (based on the sample I’ve seen) looks terrific.
Honestly, either could work for a season. Or neither could. The point is, if I think family worship is a value, we’ve got to keep trying to make it a part of our family’s natural rhythm and exploring different options to make it a part of our day we all look forward to. Lord willing, one of these options—or something else entirely—will be a huge help in making that desire a reality.