We believe that parents are the primary disciple-makers of their kids, so we want to help jumpstart and normalize Christian disciplines in Christian families. One of the key disciplines that we want to support is family-devotions or family-worship: parents gathering kids together around the Word and in worship.
To help do this, we will have a special “Families on Mission” night on 2/7 in place of KidsOnMission. This will affect all families with kids 0-5th grade. And it will impact families of youth-age kids too. Will, our youth minister, said, “We are encouraging students to find out what their families are doing and join in. Whether it is life group, watching a movie, or a simple dinner, we want students to be all in with their parents.”
Again, the point is to help jumpstart and normalize Christian disciplines in Christian families.
So on that night, we will be providing a family devotion that can be done at home in the family-setting, in a life-group setting, or even on your own. We are asking that the saints in our church lead those around them, as best they can, toward a rhythm of family-worship. This might be a life-group eating together (with the kids) and then walking through that night’s devotion together. Or it might mean that your life-group decides not to meet that night so that families can have a specific time to jumpstart their habits by doing the devotion together. Or it might mean that teens nudge their parents by asking, “Could we take a few minutes to do a devotion together at dinner?”
What kind of devotion will we offer for the night of 2/7? We will be giving our families everything they need to lead the first question in the New City Catechism. The idea here is that families could continue using this resource for the rest of the year (there are 52 questions). And several of our families are already familiar with it as a helpful resource. (We’ll be sending out resources for 2/7 soon.)
Do you have to wait until 2/7 to get started? No! We started emphasizing this in Advent. We are continuing in January. And on 2/7, we will jump in on question one. But you can start using the New City Catechism with us now (here the devotion for 1/10). This will put you in a great position to get started. See the devotions here and read about the heart behind using this catechism.
Is the New City Catechism the only option for 2/7? No. We are providing this resource and think that it could provide the outline for a weekly rhythm in many families. But we know that different things might work well for different families and groups. If you already have a family-devotional resource that you like and use, you are more than welcome to stick with that or to share it with your group.
This is a good time for your life-group and family to start making a plan for the evening of 2/7. Planning now can help you make the most of that night. Here are some ideas:
Have your life-group meet with all the kids on 2/7. Eat together. Then split into a couple of groups (maybe one group in dining room, one in living room, etc) with a few families together in each room. Do the devotional together. Then do something fun as a group… maybe a mini-movie with a resource from RightNowMedia, or some games, or outside time (if the weather is nice).
Decide that each family in your group should meet at their own homes on 2/7. Do a family-dinner and do the devotional time together at the table (or elsewhere). Then do something fun together as a family (like the options in # 1).
Get together with another family or two and do # 2.
Remember, the point is to help jumpstart and normalize Christian disciplines in Christian families. So doing this in a way that can be reproduced later is wise. Be creative. Have fun with it. I am excited about families hearing the Word and seeking God together!
More about this will come up soon. But I wanted to share with you and your group now so that you wouldn’t be caught off-guard. Feel free to reach out with any questions or ideas!