For Christian families, a family devotional time is important for connecting together spiritually, as well as focusing on the scriptures to incorporate God's word into daily life. If you're looking to start family devotions, it's essential to make the devotions appealing to the children, as kids can get easily distracted and lose interest in things fairly quickly. For your family devotions, plan to include a mixture of Bible readings, prayer and entertaining activities in which everyone in the family can participate.
Instead of having one person lead the prayers for the devotion, give everyone in the family an opportunity to say a prayer. This teaches the kids the importance of prayer -- and that it should be a regular part of their daily lives. If you have devotions daily, you could have everyone pray about something going on the next day. If you do devotions once a week, have everyone take turns praying about things in the upcoming week. Encourage the kids to pray for other people in the family and not just themselves.
Bible Reading and Discussion
Reading the Bible and complementary devotional material is the main aspect and point of a family devotions time, but younger members of the family might find this boring. Just like with praying, let all members of the family who can read, read a part of the Bible lesson. Use a Bible translation that's easy for kids to read and understand, such as the New International Version or the Contemporary English Version. Allow the kids to interrupt to ask questions. In fact, stop intermittently to ask if anyone has questions. Keep the reading short, especially for younger children with very short attention spans. Talk about what the reading means afterwards. Give young children crayons and a piece of paper to draw something related to the Bible lesson after the reading.
Include a game to keep the kids interest during devotionals. Call out Bible verses related to the lesson and have the kids race to find the verse in the Bible. You can either call out the specific verse number for the kids to find, or, to really challenge them, read a verse and have the kids try to find the verse number. Another game might include Bible quizzes with questions based on the Bible lesson and stories you read, as well as Bible lessons they already know. Some quiz questions ideas include, "What was the name of Abraham's son that he was going to sacrifice to the Lord?" and "what is the seventh commandment?" Give bonus points if kids can also name the verses from which the answers come.
Keep Things Fresh
Kids can get very bored with family devotions that follow the same routine all the time. Switch things up every once in a while to keep it fresh and exciting for the kids. For example, take family devotions to the backyard on a warm summer day. Do a walking family devotion on a hike. Serve snacks and include a family-friendly Christian video at the end of the devotions. Plan snacks that are related to the Bible lesson you will be reading that day. For example, several Bible verses mention fruit, meat or unleavened bread.
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