All tagged parenting

The Missing Mark Of Leadership

Leadership resources are legion in our culture, and for good reason - leadership is vital. We all need to be led and we all lead. Books, blogs, conferences, and podcasts are filled with practical instruction on the defining marks of effective leadership. Things like courage, competency, care, communication, and creativity are all essential to leadership. 

Sadly, I rarely read, or hear anything about what I would argue, is the most important and attractive mark of effective leadership:

5 Rules For Family Devotions

This week I'm writing about family devotions. We've talked about a strategy, how to pick the right resources, and I want to conclude this short series with five simple rules for family worship. So here they are...

1. Keep It Simple

Read. Sing. Pray. It really doesn't need to be more complicated than that. I spent an entire year so overwhelmed about how to perfectly shepherd my kids that I largely wasn't shepherding my kids. I can't overemphasize how important it is that you don't get up in your head about this. Choose your resources carefully, but then keep it simple and get after it. 

2. Keep It Fun

The quickest way to kill momentum is make your kids dread devotions. Keep it fun. Get over yourself. Act out stories. Make a game out of it. Use voices. Put them in the story. I don't care how you do it, just keep it fun. Fun takes work, so put in the extra effort because it will be worth it. 

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...

 

3 Rhythms for Family Devotions

Every parent has high hopes for their children. We all want our kids to be “well-adjusted” (whatever that means), healthy, successful, and most of us pray our kids marry somebody great. While I share all of these hopes for my kids, I have one desire for them towering above the rest: I want each of my kids to know and love Jesus.  

Sadly, many of us have abdicated this responsibility, delegating the shepherding of our children to the local church. Obviously, the local church has a crucial role to play in the spiritual formation of children, but God’s goal is for discipleship to start in the home. This demands the “God-talk” described in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. At breakfast, on the way to school, sitting around the house, playing games, watching TV, mealtimes - there is never a time we cannot and should not engage the hearts of our kids in spiritual matters. 

As a parent of three young kids (Ava 5, Ryder 3, Lincoln 1) I always want to look for these opportunities to talk about Jesus and we’ve found regular family devotions to be the best way to plant the seeds from which these everyday conversations can grow - especially while our kids are young. 

We’ve struggled to find the right manner and method. I’ve read a number of books, listened to some lectures, and asked lots of friends how they practice family devotions and finally we’re starting to feel like we’re figuring it out…I think…maybe…at least right now :-) It’s hard work and requires constant attention. In our house, we’ve found that effective family devotions are made up of three basic rhythms…