Churches and ministries often separate the family when it comes to worship and Bible study. I personally believe God's Word and the worship experience is intended for the whole family. Unfortunately many people think it is the job of the pastor to teach the adults, the youth pastor to teach the teenagers and the children's pastor to teach the children.
The Bible teaches that it is the blessing and responsibility of the parents to teach and train their family in the ways of God. The hard part for most parents is knowing HOW to do this. Timothy Paul Jones writes, "(Family Ministry is) the process of intentionally and persistently coordinating a ministry's proclamation and practices so that parents are acknowledged, trained and held accountable as primary disciple-makers in their children's lives."
Family discipleship may sound intimidating to parents because they don't have a Bible degree, they may not fully understand the Bible themselves or they have no idea where to start or how to start. It's ok... Nobody has everything figured out. In fact family discipleship is not a program but more of a journey as the parent, teen, and child all grow TOGETHER in God's Word.
If you are feeling a bit intimidated about starting a family devotional time there are many resources available.
- One of my personal favorites is The Bible Project. This site is a a great place to go to learn visually about the books of the Bible. Check out the video below for a sample.
- First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton has a unique family ministry called Family First that I oversee. We meet Sunday mornings (currently, this will change in the fall) from 9:45 to 10:45 in the children's area (The Big Room). We begin out time learning and worshiping together as a family and then break off into age appropriate small groups. Both parents and children are learning the same Bible story (but at their level). The hope is that parents and kids can continue their worship at home as they talk about what they learned.
- You can also check out the resources below. They serve as coloring pages and discussion sheets for the family. The artwork was created exclusively for me by a good friend. If you or your children ever color these pictures please take a picture and send them to me as I like to pass them along to the artist... He loves it when his pictures get colored :)