Ryan is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, NC. He is the host of the "In The Room" podcast, and the author of 8 Hours, Or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster.  

3 Factors To Consider When Choosing Resources For Family Devotions

3 Factors To Consider When Choosing Resources For Family Devotions

Yesterday I wrote about a simple strategy for family devotions. In addition to the right strategy, we need the right resources. The right children's Bible, for instance, could make, or break the quality of your family devotions with little kids. In the same way, if your kids are older and you choose a Bible written for little kids...let's just say, they'll be less than jacked about feeling like they're in Sunday school again.  

Before I recommend a few things, here are three factors to consider when choosing which resources to use...

1. The Quality Of The Content

Simply put, there is no shortage of crappy so-called "Christian" content in general. Just walk the aisles of your local Christian bookstore if you don't believe me. As parents we need to be careful about the content we put in the hearts and hands of our kids. They need to be Biblically-faithful. Most kids Bibles treat the stories of Scriptures like moral fables, disconnected from the overarching message of God's Word. The resources you choose need to be faithful to Scripture and thus Christ-centered. 

2. The Age Of Your Child

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that reading Jonathan Edwards with your three-year-old won't be helpful. You might love that, but they won't. Choose something that's written to them. Consider the actual age of your kid(s), but also the spiritual maturity level, Biblical literacy, and attention span. All these factors matter. What works for my five-year-old, probably won't work for your two-year-old. In addition, what works for a nine-year-old raised in the church and familiar with Scripture, may not work with a thirteen-year-old who, though older, has no background in the Bible. Pick what works for your child.

3. The Goal Of Your Devotions 

Two years ago all I wanted to do was get Ava and Ryder familiar with the story and people of Scripture. So all we did was read through good children's Bibles. When Ava turned five, I wanted to start laying a doctrinal foundation for them to build on. As a result we've started catechizing our kids. Your goal will dictate what type of resources you should use.

Now that we've considered these factors, here are a few resources I would recommend based on the age of your child. 

0-3 Years Of Age

3-5 Years of Age

School-Age

My list is intentionally brief. Personally, I don't find it helpful to wade through dozens of books trying to find the right one. These have been great for us and great for others. They may not work for you. Consider the three factors listed above, do some research and get after it as a family!

Yesterday's Post: 3 Rhythms For Family Devotions

Tomorrow's Post: 5 Rules For Family Devotions

 

What resources for family devotions would you recommend? Leave a comment here...

5 Rules For Family Devotions

5 Rules For Family Devotions

3 Rhythms for Family Devotions

3 Rhythms for Family Devotions