Family Time
Create Intentional Moments

Click here to watch the Family Time and Faith video

WHAT: 
When your child reaches about four years old, it is a great time to establish a pattern of including fun family times in your schedule to foster communication, laughter and faith formation.

WHY: 
It is important to have a consistent routine of creating intentional moments that will help your family deepen relationships and have faith discussions.  Regularly scheduled family time activities are a great way to make that happen.

WHEN: 
For some families, this might be a particular night of the week after dinner.  For another family it might be after Saturday morning breakfast.  Decide what works for your unique schedule and then protect that time. You might need to say “no” to some good things to make family times a priority. We suggest scheduling a family time experience weekly, but no less than twice per month.  Setting and keeping a regular schedule will show commitment and value to all involved.

THE PLAN: 
Plan for success by finding resources to help make your family times a great experience.  We have listed several recommended resources on the back of this guide to help you get started.  Free ideas are also available at athome.concordia.cc.  As your child gets older, ask them if there are specific topics they would like to make a part of your time together and let them help plan your activities.  Don’t forget that the Bible is the most important resource God has given us to instill truth in the hearts and minds of our children.

THE FUN: 
Children are more likely to embrace your beliefs and values if they enjoy time with you.  This is why family fun times are a great context for effective faith formation.  Be creative by acting out Scripture together, doing crafts or object lessons that reinforce spiritual themes.  Avoid becoming overly serious, rigid, or stressed while leading family times.  It’s okay for kids to be silly and it’s important to fill your home with laughter.

GETTING STARTED

  • Protect a day and time and let your child place the Family Time sticker included with this kit on the family calendar to help build anticipation.
  • Choose a family theme song to gather everyone together.  Spend a little time singing, silly dancing, swinging the kids, etc. to get everyone in the mood for the best part of the week!
  • Choose a tool that will provide object lesson activities to help you reinforce biblical values and lessons on an ongoing basis.  You  can purchase  recommended resources in the @Home Center.

OTHER IDEAS

  • Pick a family verse that you want to memorize and say together. Make up or use some fun games to learn the verse. 
  • Discuss a movie that is age-appropriate for your child.  Make some popcorn and watch the film together.  Afterwards, have a “faith talk” about the choices of characters and other aspects of the story that catch your attention.  Check out movienightchat.com
  • Share with your child something God has been or is teaching you.
  • Cook a meal together and use the time for sharing and talking.
  • Take time to ask each member of the family to share his or her “high” and “low” of the day.
  • Go on a family walk and spend the time praying for each other, the neighbors, or others.
  • Capture family prayer requests using a prayer chart or on a refrigerator white board.

Faith
Walk with Your Child to Faith for a Lifetime

Click HERE to watch the Faith Video

One of the greatest privileges you have as a parent is to introduce your child to Jesus Christ and develop daily habits of learning and faith.  Like many parents, you may not quite know how or when to approach this exciting yet intimidating process of parenthood.  Some worry that they won’t introduce Jesus properly.  They might be tempted to just “leave it to the professionals” by relying on people at church or ministry events.  That’s understandable, but God has given you the most important and influential role when it comes to introducing your child to Jesus.  This guide is designed to help you feel more comfortable and confident about the faith process.

Step One: Lay a foundation
Your son or daughter grows in his or her understanding of God and the promises and Person of Jesus by hearing stories from the Bible, learning scriptures, singing about Jesus and so forth in a faith community. Your child also learns by experiencing life in your home; watching your example, feeling your love and learning right from wrong. This foundation is described in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 that says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” 

Step Two: Respect the levels of comprehension
Do your best to discern when your child is mature enough to put Bible stories together. Avoid the temptation to force faith.  Faith building is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Your child may intellectually understand, but still have big questions. A child needs to understand that having faith is a life-long learning process, not just an opportunity to repeat rote answers.

Step Three:  Ask questions
Ask questions to help gauge his or her level of understanding. For example, read Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then ask questions like, “What is sin?” “How does your sin affect your relationship to God?”  How they respond can help you sense when your child is ready to understand two important concepts:

  • JESUS AS SAVIOR:  The need for forgiveness and cleansing from sin which was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross
  • JESUS AS LORD:  The need to submit to God daily as “the boss” by making Jesus Christ the Lord of one’s life


Step Four: Guide your child in prayer
The truth of a saving faith for a lifetime revolves around questions like these:  Is my child a sinner?  Does Jesus forgive sins and save those who believe and trust in Him?  Will Jesus forgive the sins of my child?  Is my child saved?  If you sense your child has a basic understanding of what sin is, his or her need for forgiveness, and what it means to believe in Jesus – that He gladly forgives sins and gives the gift of eternal life, then you can guide him or her to pray along the lines of Romans 6:23.  Instead of quoting specific words for your child to repeat, it’s best to prompt using his or her own words.  Encourage your child to pray this way each day!

If after reading through this guide and viewing the Faith video, you would like additional assistance, feel free to request an appointment for you and your child to meet with a pastor or Concordia staff member by visiting the @Home Center or online at athome.concordia.cc