How did your family meeting go? Were you effective in talking up the start of your family devotion time during the week? I pray the Holy Spirit has been working through your family’s hearts and preparing them for God’s Word in the weeks to come.
This week is launch week. You should have a specific day this week written on your family calendar for when you’re going to sit down as a family and begin learning about God. This is what you are going to need:
- A Bible - it would be great if any older children have their own to follow along in, but if not, don’t worry about it
- A timer, or someone who is able to keep up with the time without getting distracted from family worship
- Blank sheets of scrap paper and crayons if you have little ones
Here’s the formula that you’re going to carry out each day you have scheduled for devotions:
1. Pray first. Keep it short and sweet, especially if you’ve never prayed out loud with your family and you’re a little nervous. Say “Thank you God for this time we have together. We love you. Help us know you better. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen”, or something similar.
2. Start your timer, or your timekeeper. Fifteen minutes.
3. Explain to your child(ren) that you’re going to read from the first chapter of the Book of Mark, and that afterwards you’re going to ask questions about what you read (older kids) or have them color a picture about what they heard (younger kids). This gets the child primed for paying attention. After all, if there’s going to be a test at the end of it all he wants to pass the test, right?
4. Read from Mark chapter 1. Read with some feeling, if you can muster it. The part where Jesus drives out an evil spirit, use your best monster voice as the spirit taunts Jesus. Then, in a demanding voice, read Jesus’ command for the spirit to “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Note the exclamation points. Jesus wasn’t being gentle when he said this. This helps engage your child in the reading. Don’t be surprised if you hear your younger child reenacting the scenes that you help make stand out. That’s a good thing!
5. At the end of your reading, instruct your younger child to draw you a picture showing something he heard in the reading, then ask him to describe what is in his picture. For the older child, ask him to share some of what he heard you read. It’s okay to prompt him with suggestions (Mark 1 covers a lot of territory).
6. Ask if there are any questions or comments. Make any comments you may have. Wrap it up. If your devotion didn’t take fifteen minutes, that’s okay, but try to keep it within the timed parameter.
Keep it very simple. No notes, no extensive lesson plan, just read from the Bible and discuss. You’re on your way!