Tips for Family Devotions

March 10, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Do you want to get started with family devotional times but don’t know where to begin?  Do your current family devotions seem more rote than relational?  Are you looking for it to be a time of connection, spiritual growth and worship?  Here are some tips that can help you create a family devotional time that will be met with cheers instead of groans.

Make it variable. As the old saying goes, variety is the spice of life.  Don’t assume that family devotionals can only consist of Dad reading from the bible while everyone listens passively.  Enlist the help of all family members to come up with a devotional schedule that encompasses different elements every day.  Heaven Help the Home by Howard Hendricks has some great ideas for breathing some life back into your devotional time.  Below are some ideas but feel free to use your own creativity and family’s interests to create a schedule that works for you:

Monday – Review and apply the passage taught in church or Sunday school

Tuesday – Learn and practice a new hymn

Wednesday – Read a missionary story or write a letter to a missionary family

Thursday – Practice memory verses (different verses for different members)

Friday – Read or act out a Bible story

Saturday – Give a Bible story or character “quiz”

Sunday – Play “What Would You Do?” (explore how each member would handle a hypothetical scenario)

Make the discussions collaborative.  Don’t preach or lecture.  Involving your children in the discussion will engage them in the process and help you refine your devotional time to meet their spiritual needs.  Choose materials that are appropriate to their level of understanding that will help facilitate the discussion.  Bible translations with high levels of “readability” are best (like the New Living Translation or The International Children’s Bible).

Make it fun. On occasion, serve dessert during devotional time.  Everyone can enjoy an ice cream cone while reviewing what happened at church the day before.  Or grab a blanket, go outside and sit on the front lawn for your time together.  Go for a walk and identify all of the wonders of creation that you see around you.  When you return home, pray and praise God for His majesty.

Keep a prayer journal. Designate a notebook for prayer requests and praise reports.  Rotate the job of “secretary” among your children who can read and write.  Date each entry and add prayers and praises during each devotional time.  Round robin style prayers (where each person prays one sentence about the same topic before moving on to the next prayer request) will keep little minds engaged and focused.

Keep it brief. Don’t assume that your family devotional time needs to take a large chunk of time.  Children have short attention spans and as much as possible, the length of the devotional time should be tailored to suit their developmental level.

Family devotional time can be a time of connection and spiritual grounding for all members of your family.  Making it interactive ensures that all members will feel included and engaged.  We’d love to hear your ideas for keeping devotional time engaging and enriching for your family!

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Category: Family Devotion Ideas, Family Time, Featured Articles

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

About the Author

Laura Kuehn, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in children and families. CfP is the place she combines some of her very favorite things: writing, parenting and God's word. She loves encouraging parents to build their families upon Jesus, the one true Cornerstone. She is happily married to a wonderfully supportive husband and is the mother of two delightfully inspiring children.

Comments (3)

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  1. Linda Westerholm says:

    Laura,
    I like letting kids bring up a devotional topic. Adults can surely manipulate even simple topics like “Cats” into venues for God’s unique love for creatures and for us.

    Keeping a prayer journal, and making a scrapbook-like collection of which child ” taught” devotionss a good reminder of growth. Pictures made by the family and a Bible verse near them makes a brief family worship worth returning to in the days and years ahead.

  2. Matt Daniels says:

    Hi Laura,

    Came across your blog from the blogcatalog forum—and I LOVE it. You’ve got a great writing style…this topic is timely–I’ve got a 7 and 2 year old, and while I tried writing a similar article in my blog, I much prefer yours. 🙂

    I’m following ya on your RSS feeds…keep up the good writing, and God bless!

    Matt

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