We are working hard to help families build the habit of family-devotions. Here you can find family-devotional guides (links added weekly) for your family. And below this list of links, you can read through the heart behind, and the plan for, moving forward in this direction as a church. You can jump in at any time, so don't worry if you haven't started yet. The best time to begin is... now.
Links to Family Devotions
1/24. Q41: What is the Lord’s Prayer?
1/31. Q42: How is the Word of God to be read and heard?
2/7. Q1: What is our only hope in life and death?
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When my kids were born, it didn’t take long for them to get a seat at the dinner table. The seat was different. The silverware was different. And the food was presented differently too. But once my children had teeth, they began to participate in the family meal. At the table, Jess and I (parents) eat. And we feed the same meal to our kids too.
This is what family-discipleship should look like in the home. Those who are more mature (usually parents) are filling themselves with the Word. And they are sharing it with their children too. The kids eat what the parents eat. The kids eat when the parents eat.
There can be a misconception that parents need to be wise, wizardly teachers of the spiritual arts for their kids (or something like that). What kids really need is to see that every person—adult and child—lives not on bread alone, but on every word from the mouth of God. Kids who see their parents wrestling with biblical truth and praying learn to do that.
One of the best tools for “eating Bible bread” together is a good catechism. Why? Because they are so easy to use. A catechism is simply a list of questions and answers that systematically cover key truths of the Bible. Luther wrote a catechism because he was desperate to help families learn and grow together. Some famous catechisms (like the Westminster) have two versions that work together: short kid-friendly versions (for children and new believers) and longer ones (for adults and long-time Christians). Think of a catechism as a curriculum for your most important, most permanent life-group: your family.
The famous Puritan pastor Richard Baxter would travel to the homes of the 800 families in his church each year. Why? To test them on their church’s catechism. If the parents knew the catechism, they were likely prioritizing their personal faith. And if their kids knew it, the parents were almost certainly handing down the faith as well. The culture is different today, so I am not going to stop by every family’s house in 2024 (although I would like to do a lot more of that) to test you on the catechism, but I am inviting your family to join our church in walking through the New City Catechism (free app, list of questions with songs).
As we work on family-devotions in Advent 2023, I will share a few catechism-questions that relate to Christmas. As we begin 2024, we will look at some questions about prayer and the Bible. And then on February 7, we will have a special Wednesdays-night-event where we all do family-devotions on Question 1 of the NCC together. The aim of that night is to jumpstart and normalize Christian disciplines in Christian families.
For some, that one night will be an encouragement to press on with a family Bible-study that you have already started. For others, I am hoping that you will join us in a weekly walk through the 52 questions of the NCC. I am praying that many families continue in a weekly family-worship time where they use the NCC to learn key truths of theology together.
I am praying that families will start to eat—eat the Word—together. And that the NCC will provide a recipe that can be finely chopped for the tiny ones, but fill the stomachs of the more mature at the same time.
Come with us.